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Long-Term Care and Lifetime Earnings: Assessing the Potential to Pay

Publication Date
Jul 31, 2008

This report examines the relationship between lifetime earnings and use of Medicaid-financed long-term care services in a nationally representative survey of older adults. The authors calculate the shares of older adults who are ever disabled, ever use any long-term care services, ever receive Medicaid-financed home care, and ever experience Medicaid-financed nursing home stays over a 13-year period. The report shows how these proportions vary by demographic characteristics and lifetime earnings, and examines the characteristics of adults who ever use Medicaid-financed home or institutional care. It assesses how many Medicaid enrollees receiving long-term earned enough when they were working to have potentially set aside sufficient savings to cover substantial portions of their future long-term care needs. [36 PDF pages]