Wednesday, June 20, 2018

You, Your Money, and Nursing Homes

Allison Bell is one of my very favorite insurance journalists, and we've quoted her work quite often. Her articles are typically first-rate: understandable, accurate and complete.

You just knew there'd be a "but" here, didn't you?

Recently, she posted an article on the cost of nursing home care depending on whether one was self-pay (including long term care insurance), Medicare and Medicaid:

"If nursing home owners had a choice, they might prefer to see Medicare patients come through the door."

That;'s because (apparently) Medicare pays about 60% more for nursing home care than private payers (including the aforementioned LTCi policyowners) do.

Which makes sense, actually, since Medicare doesn't actually pay for long term care, which is where the nursing homes would then make up any shortfalls. And for short term, Medicare-eligible stays, it's unlikely that very many LTCi plans would pay a nickel, since most will have a 20 or 90 (or longer) day waiting period. It's also important to note that the criteria for Medicare reimbursement is quite different than what would trigger an LTCi claim, further reducing the number of those actually paid for such short term stays.

Now what would be interesting would be to include those newfangled short term care plans in this mix.

One wonders how they might fare.

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