The Risks Faced by Older Medicare Beneficiaries with Physical or Cognitive Impairment

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<p>More than half of Americans who live to age 65 will at some point experience physical or cognitive impairment that makes independent living difficult and requires long-term services and supports. But paid caregiving arrangements are often beyond the means of the average older adult: Medicare doesn’t cover personal care assistance or long-term nursing facility services, causing many people to spend down their own resources to qualify for Medicaid.</p><p>In a new Commonwealth Fund issue brief, the first of a two-part series, Amber Willink, Karen Davis, and Cathy Schoen use national data to describe the needs of beneficiaries with physical or cognitive impairment, as well as their likelihood for placement in a nursing home and enrollment in Medicaid. The brief also details these adults’ often prohibitively high out-of-pocket costs.</p>
<p>Later this week, the authors present policy options to expand financing for home and community-based care for older adults with impairment.</p> Read the brief