• John Grant

Medicare and Medicaid

Efforts to modernize Medicare and Medicaid are once again gathering momentum in the nation’s capital and throughout state legislatures.

The current debate centers around cutting costs for patients, while also encouraging drug innovation, research and development.

A study by researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that a 50-year-old has a 53 to 59% chance of entering a nursing home during his or her lifetime.

According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey,1 a private room in a nursing home costs $290 per day, or $8,821 per month. Semi-private rooms are more affordable, though they average $255 per day, or $7,756 per month.

That totals near one hundred thousand dollars per year and can rapidly deplete senior’s economic resources. Nearly half of all seniors in nursing homes are on or will be on Medicaid.

Most Americans have insurance to cover their medical expenses and once they turn 65, they have Medicare, but when they are seniors and long term care is on the horizon, well that’s another story and one that is a major concern and direction of efforts for Seniors Across America.

Medicare generally doesn't cover long-term care stays in a nursing home. Even if Medicare doesn’t cover your nursing home care, you’ll still need Medicare for hospital care, doctor services, and medical supplies while you’re in the nursing home.

While Medicare will pay for a short stay in a nursing home, the longer stays leave seniors in a dilemma. If they have assets, they can’t qualify for Medicaid and must spend down their assets before qualifying for Medicaid, often leaving a spouse with no assets to live on.

At Seniors Across America, we are working in the Congress and in state legislators to affect legislation that will protect seniors from “Medicaid bankruptcy” and extend Medicare and health insurance to cover long-term nursing home and assisted living care for seniors without depriving them of their lifetime savings.

At SAA, we speak up across America for seniors.