Remember: Medicare is Not Designed to Pay for Long-Term Care!

by Estate Planning Attorney Rick Law of Law Elder Law in the West Chicagoland suburb of Aurora, IL.

Few people realize the limitations of Medicare.  Medicare was designed to care for those with acute medical conditions like gall stones or broken bones.  It does not take on the cost for diagnoses such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or long-term mobility problems.

Medicare really only covers short-term or “acute care.” In other words, Medicare only covers your healthcare expenses if you are expected to get well. Thus, Medicare does not provide care when someone is diagnosed with a long-term chronic condition from which they are not expected to recover.

In order to qualify for home care coverage, the patient must need at least one or more of the following:

  • Part-time nursing care
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech language therapy
  • Occupational therapy

These services are typically covered by Part A or B of Medicare.

The patient will pay $0 for all covered home health visits. If the patient has a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement policy, they need to contact their plan and ask about their coverage, as they may need to use one of the home care agencies that the plan lists as approved.

Seniors need to be made aware that Medicare leaves many “gaps” in coverage by way of coinsurance and deductibles. Even those who own a Medicare Supplement policy must understand that these policies only offer coverage that is supplemental to what Medicare covers.

So, if an individual incurs expenses that are not covered in the first place by Medicare, such as non-essential cosmetic surgery, then their Medicare Supplement policy typically won’t pay for the coinsurance or deductible. As a general rule, Medicare Supplement policies also do not cover custodial care or long term nursing home or home healthcare.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!


Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine,, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  

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