Medicaid – You May Need It so Know About It

The Perceived
Medicare Safety Net

According to reports from McKnights, very few retirees see Medicaid as having a role in their long-term care needs.

  • 10% of pre-retirees and 7% of retirees think Medicaid will pay the majority of their costs for three months in a nursing home.
  • Only 32% of retirees want major changes in the Medicare program, compared to 47% of pre-retirees.That also reinforces how much retirees perceive as needing Medicare as their safety net.

The truth is that unless you have come to the home from a hospital, in which if eligible Medicare pays, well you have to pay out of pocket until Medicaid kicks in. So it really pays for you to understand how long-term care is funded and what you can do now to protect your assets later, or maybe it’s just the first three letters of that word. (Think about it!)

Pollsters concluded that while an aging population may support changes to Medicare, they see the federal-state Medicaid program as irrelevant to their lives. That’s at odds with Medicaid, by far, being the predominant payer for nursing homes.

The poll is part of a series developed by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation RWJF, and the Harvard School of Public Health.