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Long-term care insurance and Medicaid

Depending on length-of-stay, somewhere between 29 percent and 38 percent of long-term care insurance purchasers who use nursing homes would qualify for Medicaid payments if they did not own a policy. This is equivalent to between 13 percent and 17 percent of all policyholders. Owning such a policy would, however, reduce spend-down rates among policyholders by 39 percent. Thus, in the presence of long-term care insurance, only 8 to 10 percent of all policyholders would receive Medicaid. Medicaid would spend between $6,492 and $14,179 (in 1990 dollars) on nursing home entrants with long-term care insurance policies--$14,437 to $29,698 if entrants did not have insurance. The ultimate impact on Medicaid expenditures is reduced, however, because many policyholders voluntarily let their policies lapse before entering nursing homes. If policies paid reduced benefits for voluntary lapses, then Medicaid could reap more significant fiscal savings.


Cohen, MA., Nandakumar, A., & Wallack, SS. (1994). Long-term care insurance and Medicaid. Health Affairs, 13(4), 127-139.