Insuring Americans for Long-Term Services and Supports: Challenges and Limitations of Voluntary Insurance

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Many older adults pay for long-term care out of their income and personal savings until they are poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. In an effort to avoid exhausting their resources and relying on Medicaid, others depend on unpaid family support or go without needed services. Learn more in this policy brief, developed with Avalere.

Date Updated: 03/20/2013

Executive Summary

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 7 and 9 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…


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