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The President's Proposed Long-Term Care Initiative: Background and Issues


About 13 million Americans need the help of another person with basic tasks of daily living. For these individuals and their families, the need for long-term care often causes substantial financial difficulties and other burdens. In contrast to acute medical care, most nursing home and home-based long-term care services are not covered by Medicare or private health insurance. As a result, people needing long-term care often face high out-of-pocket expenses for this care, as well as for prescription drugs and coinsurance payments for acute medical services. While Medicaid provides safety net coverage for nursing home services and, to a lesser degree, home care services, people must first exhaust their financial resources to become eligible for the program.

Publication Details

Publication Date: April 1, 1999
Author: Harriet Komisar, Judith Feder

The President's Proposed Long-Term Care Initiative: Background and Issues, Harriet L. Komisar and Judith Feder, The Commonwealth Fund, April 1999


Associate Research Professor, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute