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Medicare Beneficiaries Spent an Average of $5,460 Out-of-Pocket for Health Care in 2016, With Some Groups Spending Substantially More 

The average person with traditional Medicare coverage paid $5,460 out of their own pocket for health care in 2016, according to a new KFF analysis and interactive tool. This $5,460 includes about $1,000 in out-of-pocket spending for long-term care facility services, averaged across all traditional Medicare beneficiaries.  Such services are…

COVID-19 and Workers at Risk: Examining the Long-Term Care Workforce

The highly transmissible nature of the coronavirus combined with the congregate nature of long-term care facility settings and the close and personal contact that many long-term care workers have with patients puts them at elevated risk of infection. This analysis focuses on the characteristics of the 4.5 million people who work in long-term care settings, based on the 2018 American Community Survey.

More than 10,000 People in Long-Term Care Facilities Have Died Due to COVID-19

More than 10,000 residents and staff in long-term care facilities across the U.S. have died from COVID-19 infections, according to a KFF analysis of state data. That number is an undercount since not all states are currently reporting such data. Among those reporting data, the largest death tolls as of…

Hotspot States See More COVID Cases in Nursing Homes

In his Axios column, Drew Altman discusses new data on the surge of new infections in long-term care facilities in COVID-19 hotspots. The dominant narrative about the Sunbelt surge in new cases is that the infected population is younger, but he says that’s not the whole story. There is also a spike in cases in long-term care facilities, especially in Florida and Texas.

Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person Program: State Progress and Uncertainty Pending Federal Funding Reauthorization

Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration has helped seniors and people with disabilities move from institutions to the community by providing enhanced federal matching funds to states since 2007. The program operates in 44 states and has served over 90,000 people as of June 2018. The program is credited with helping many states establish formal institution to community transition programs that did not previously exist by enabling them to develop the necessary service and provider infrastructure. With a short-term funding extension set to expire on December 31, 2019, MFP’s future remains uncertain without a longer-term reauthorization by Congress.

Implications of the Expiration of Medicaid Long-Term Care Spousal Impoverishment Rules for Community Integration

To financially qualify for Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS), an individual must have a low income and limited assets. In response to concerns that these rules could leave a spouse without adequate means of support when a married individual needs LTSS, Congress created the spousal impoverishment rules in 1988. Originally, these rules required states to protect a portion of a married couple’s income and assets to provide for the “community spouse’s” living expenses when determining nursing home financial eligibility, but gave states the option to apply the rules to home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers.
Section 2404 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed the spousal impoverishment rules to treat Medicaid HCBS and institutional care equally from January 2014 through December 2018. Congress subsequently extended Section 2404 through December 2019. This issue brief answers key questions about the spousal impoverishment rules, presents 50-state data from a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation survey about state policies and future plans in this area, and considers the implications if Congress does not further extend Section 2404.

Direct Care Workforce Shortages Have Worsened in Many States During the Pandemic, Hampering Providers of Home and Community-Based Services

During the pandemic many states have experienced worsening direct care workforce shortages that have affected providers of home- and community-based long-term care services (HCBS), according to early findings of a new KFF survey of Medicaid HCBS programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Most states reported workforce…

Long-Term Care Tutorial

This tutorial was produced for kaiserEDU.org, a Kaiser Family Foundation website that ceased production in September 2013. The kaiserEDU.org tutorials are no longer being updated but have been made available on kff.org due to demand by professors who are using the tutorials in class assignments. You may search for other…

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