A new poll of Americans 40 and older asks how people are planning to deal with long-term care needs as they age. Two-thirds of respondents report little to no planning. Compounding the problem, 30 percent prefer not even to think about aging. Of the individuals questioned, only 25 percent believe it is likely they will need help caring for themselves as senior citizens.
Medicare does not presently cover the costs of most long-term care types. However, 37 percent of poll respondents believe it will pay for the services of a home health aide or for time in a nursing home in all circumstances. The reality is that Medicaid provides most long-term care coverage in the United States. To qualify for Medicaid, seniors must first expend their assets and savings. Less than 50 percent of people polled predicted they would need Medicaid.