Medicare Seeks to Improve Eldercare Benefits

affordable senior housingWith more and more Americans entering their senior years, the need for affordable eldercare is now imperative. Currently, almost seven out of 10 elderly (age 65+) Americans will need eldercare or some other form of long term assisted living.

In addition to a larger elderly population in the United States, these seniors are now living longer. In 1960, an individual who reached the age of 65 was projected to live only four years longer. Now, individuals aged 65 and older are predicted to live an average of 19 years longer.

To address the increase of senior citizens needing care within the United States, Medicare recently announced new rules. Medicare hopes that these rules will effectively make assisted living costs feasible and will enable the country to meet the demands of senior citizens.

As standing, Medicare does not provide coverage for long term solutions, such as long term assisted living. Medicare currently provides up to 100 days of coverage for nursing homes. Rather, the provider only offers coverage for more short-term scenarios that require skilled nursing care and a recovery process.

Because of this, there is often a great deal of strain on family members and loved ones to provide care and assistance to their seniors. To combat this, Medicare is now paying doctors to participate in what they call a “life panel.”

Life panels enable doctors to have in-depth, comprehensive conversations with caretakers and loved ones on what their options for care-giving really are. This support and medical advice can prove invaluable for struggling family members, loved ones, and caretakers.

In addition to this, Medicare is launching a test that will cover hospice and palliative care. Around 140 hospice programs will participate in this test, providing extended Medicare coverage for in-home hospice care.

In addition to their new rules, Medicare is also working hard to provide data for seniors on assisted living facilities and nursing homes, providing health ratings for beneficiaries of their coverage plan.

While Medicare’s new rules still don’t cover the cost of assisted living and senior housing options, Medicaid often does. For some, they even offer financial aid. Affordable senior housing can be still be costly; but as citizens age, it is often the best option to continue an optimal quality of life. In fact, 90% of citizens who participate in affordable senior housing find their experience to be everything they need and more