Avalere: Insuring Americans for Long-Term Services and Supports: Challenges and Limitations of Voluntary Insurance
Under our current system, the financing options available to most individuals who need long-term services and supports (LTSS) are limited to Medicaid, personal savings and unpaid family caregivers. Medicare does not pay for long-term services and only between seven and nine million Americans have private long-term care insurance.
Many older adults pay for LTSS (averaging $81,000 per year in a nursing home) out of their income and personal savings until they are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, a means-tested welfare program. In an effort to avoid exhausting their resources and relying on Medicaid, others depend on unpaid family support or go without needed services.