Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Future of Long Term Care

What is long term care?

About twenty-five percent of people living with MS, at some point, need long-term care. Long-term care is a combination of support and services that work together to meet an individuals ongoing health, social and personal needs. Programs offering such care are extremely expensive. For individuals without a chronic illness such as MS, Long-term care insurance is one way to cover expenses. What about individuals who are unable to pay 1,000-3,000$ a year in premiums, or for other reasons are denied access to coverage?

and Medicaid fall under the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, but Medicaid does. The current budget crisis is leading government officials to search for ways to lower costs while offering quality coverage to citizens. Currently, support and services cost at least 30,000$ a year per individual, and Medicaid is the county's largest payer of long-term care.

Some approaches the government is investigating include:
-expanding Medicaid
-developing new programs under the Home and Community Based Services wavier program
-coordinating programs, services and providers that currently overlap

We will have a follow up post to present current government debates on health care reform in relation to long-term care.

Also, I urge all readers to take a look at the NMSS's guide to
self-advocacy for access to health care coverage
! Share it with a friend, and feel free to comment or post questions. This is an exciting time to be passionate about change!
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