Medicare, the leading insurance for elderly in the United States, lacks the very thing necessary for many of its recipients. Long-term care packages are not covered by the government based insurance provider. There is a misconception that certain aspects of long-term care are covered. Things like assisted living or memory loss care fall under these misconceptions. The truth is, Medicare covers none of them, and too many recipients are finding out too late.
Why the Misconception?
The reason there is a misconception leading people to believe Medicare covers long-term care, is primarily due to the way care is given. There is coverage under Medicare known as post-acute care. This care is covered, and looks astoundingly like long-term care if you are unaware of the subtle differences. The care offered under post-acute status is medically required in relation to a recent outpatient or inpatient procedure. This is why it is covered by the insurance. The misconception is that every home health need, nursing need, or extended long-term care need is or should fall under post-acute status.
Health Care Reform
There is also misconception that under the health care Reform Act, Medicare will start allowing long-term care. The truth is, there is no statute or section of the Medicare bylaws connected to the health care Reform Act that would allow for long-term care. In fact, several government agencies have requested that if nothing else, there be a definition of post-acute needs listed in Medicare. Other agencies have asked that help to reform list what is not covered rather than what is covered. In other words, the health care Reform Act has been revamped and does not have any definition for or against what Medicare will cover under long-term care other than what is listed under current stipulations.
Alternatives to Medicare
Unfortunately, for many individuals are is no alternative to Medicare and the lack of long-term care that Medicare currently covers. In fact, one of the biggest concerns is that individuals who are currently receiving long-term care under the post-acute status will be unable to receive that care after a certain period. This may leave patients with medical conditions that do require home-helper long-term care but are now unable to receive the same gender receiving several months ago what was the list as post-acute status.
The alternatives to this are simple but unattainable by many people. The first alternative is to create a savings account plan that will cover all of your health needs. This may be a health savings account, a standard savings account, or some other savings method that will put aside money for long-term care. Long-term care insurance is another option an alternative to Medicare coverage or lack thereof. The final alternative is to simply pay out-of-pocket. Unfortunately, many elderly and baby boomers were following their parents into elder status; do not have a sustainable amount of a savings account, health savings plan or other money set aside for long-term care. They may also not be able to receive long-term care insurance at an affordable rate. This leaves alternatives very slim.
The problem is increasing and becoming a growing concern for the baby boomer generation and for healthcare professionals as well.