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Does Medicare supplemental insurance cover long term care?

Medicare supplemental insurance typically won't cover long-term care that seniors need. Getty Images

As everyone ages, their financial concerns and needs will change. 

While you may be able to get away with a reduced amount of health insurance when younger, for example, you'll likely need a more robust policy after retiring. Similarly, you may find that your health insurance and Medicare coverage may not be enough. In these instances, a Medicare supplemental policy could be of use. You also may find yourself coming up short when it comes time to pay for in-home care or a nursing home or assisted living facility. In these unique circumstances, you will have options to explore.

But does Medicare supplemental insurance also cover long term care? Or do you need to explore alternatives to help make ends meet? That's what we'll break down below.

Start by exploring your Medicare supplemental insurance options today to learn more.

Does Medicare supplemental insurance cover long term care?

In short, Medicare supplemental insurance (also known as Medigap) will only cover the gaps in coverage remaining after your Original Medicare plan has been applied. But that won't extend to covering long term care, at least not for very long.

"Medicare and most health insurance, including Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap), don't pay for long-term care,", a federal website, notes online. 

"These plans are designed to fill in some of the gaps in Medicare coverage, but they do NOT cover most long term care services," the Department of Financial Services in New York explains.

That said, there may be some circumstances where a supplement policy can assist, albeit not for an extended period of time. 

"In general, Medicare Supplement plans don't cover long-term care or care longer than 100 days," insurance company Humana says online. "However, Medicare Supplement plans can help cover costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover. For example, Medicare Supplement plans can pick up the cost of daily coinsurance when staying at a skilled nursing facility from day 21 through day 100."

Not sure if Medicare supplemental insurance can help you? Start by speaking with an expert who can answer any questions you may have.

Consider long-term care insurance

Even if your Medicare supplemental insurance plan comes up short, you shouldn't worry. There are still alternatives to pursue, namely long-term care insurance. This unique financial protection covers the costs of everything from an in-home caretaker to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

And, they operate in the familiar manner that your other insurance policies do. You'll pay your monthly premiums and then make claims for coverage as needed.

But it's not just the financial protection that makes long-term care insurance worth it. There are multiple benefits to having a long-term care insurance plan that seniors and older adults should know. Here are two major advantages:

  • Asset protection: You've worked hard to save money for retirement and to leave to beneficiaries after your death. As such, you don't want to spend that money on long-term care, if it can be avoided. And with a long-term care insurance plan you won't have to. A policy will provide you with a safe and secure way to pay for your long-term care needs.
  • Tax advantages: Depending on the long-term care insurance provider and the policy you ultimately choose, the premiums you pay for a plan may be tax-deductible (and the benefits you receive will be tax-free). However, the eligibility ranges based on age and medical factors so make sure to do your research in advance.

Get a free long-term care insurance price quote here to learn more.

The bottom line

While a Medicare supplemental insurance plan may not extend as far as you need in terms of covering long-term care, you still have options. Long-term care insurance can help pay for these costs without issue. This can potentially save you money over time and immediately start protecting your existing funds now. Plus, you may be able to deduct the cost of premiums from your taxes each year. 

Start exploring your long-term care insurance options here to learn more.

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