Weekend Reading: Warning: Medicare Does Not Pay for Long-Term Care

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading medicare long term care Weekend reading medicare long term care
Weekend Reading

This is the primary reason our team speaks to the families we meet with about the importance of long-term care. In addition to being costly without a plan in place, it also does not fall under your Medicare benefits.


Who needs long-term care? For those turning 65 today, there is a 70 percent chance of requiring some form of long-term care in the future. The need for these services would arise if you lost the ability to independently perform daily activities, such as eating, bathing, dressing, walking, etc.

Why there’s confusion: The services under Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) cover inpatient care in a “skilled nursing facility” and home health care. However, this care is only covered if it requires the skills of a “registered nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist or speech-language pathologist.” Anything that can be provided by a non-medical helper is not covered.

How to cover LTC expenses: Like any other health care expense, long-term care costs can compound if services are needed for an extended period of time. Some options to help cover those costs include:

📌 Traditional long-term care policy

📌 Deferred long-term care annuity

📌 Life insurance with a long-term care rider

📌 Health Savings Account (HSA)

📌 Reverse mortgage

📌 Charitable remainder trust

📌 Medicare Advantage plans or Medicaid

Plan now: You cannot stake your future on Medicare. It’s important to start evaluating all of your options as part of a truly comprehensive health care plan.