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September 12, 2001
Most Don't Realize Medicare Won't Cover Long-Term Care
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ty-three percent of those aged 65 and over in the U.S. either do not know or have incorrect information about Medicare coverage for long-term care, according to a new study.

That's a crisis, according to Robert Pearson, CEO of CareQuest National Work & Family LTC Solutions, which conducted the study. Pearson said that unless the government formally notifies all Medicare beneficiaries that long-term care is not covered by their Medicare health benefits, the problem will only get worse.

"There's a good chance your parents don't understand that Medicare or their private supplement insurance won't help pay for their quickly-approaching long-term care needs," said Pearson. "This lack of knowledge or denial has a huge liability attached that has created a crisis for Mom, Dad, the kids... even people unrelated are going to get involved by paying for our collective lack of knowledge."

Almost half of all people aged 65 and over will require some form of long-term care in the future at a cost most cannot afford. You can have the best private long-term care financing solutions in the world, but if people are allowed to believe the government pays for the care, they won't plan or prepare for it themselves and end up on welfare, Pearson said.

"Today, with the Long Term Care crisis settling in upon us," said Pearson, "we need top government officials and legislators to step forward - not only to speak out for our mothers and fathers, but for their children, their grandchildren and taxpayers of all ages. The depth of our liability with the long-term care crisis is so much greater compared to the nominal cost of education."

CareQuest, Inc., a national, long-term care solutions company in Madison, WI, commissioned Dr. David G. Wegge to conduct the study; "Perception of Medicare Long-Term Care Coverage Among Those Aged 65 and Over in the United States." The margin of error for the sample of this size is + 4.4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. This means that the percentages reported in this study should not vary by more than + 4.4 percent from what the true proportions would be if all people aged 65 and over in the U.S. had been interviewed.

For 12 years, CareQuest has been studying, developing and testing programs to educate the elderlyand their children about long-term care. "This is a multigenerational crisis," Pearson said. "It affects the elderly, their children, grandchildren and their collective estates."

  • For a copy of CareQuest's study, "Perception of Medicare Long-Term Care Coverage Among Those Age 65 and Over in the United States," email
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