For all practical purposes, in the United States the only “insurance” plan for long-term institutional care is Medicaid (called “MassHealth” in Massachusetts). Medicare only pays for just 23 percent of long-term care costs in the United States. Private insurance pays for even less. The result is that most people pay out of their own pockets for long-term care until they become eligible for MassHealth. While Medicare is an entitlement program, MassHealth is a form of welfare — or at least that’s how it began. So to be eligible, you must become “impoverished” under the program’s guidelines.
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