Americans are living longer than ever, and this means that more careful planning must go into our golden years. Long-term care can be extremely expensive, and many are wondering how to work this into their financial planning.

Some people believe that Medicare will cover the expenses related to long-term care. However, this is not true in all cases. According to LongTermCare.gov, Medicare does not cover custodial care expenses.

What is “custodial care?”

Custodial care refers to help with everyday activities. For instance, if your loved one needs help bathing or getting dressed, Medicare considers these custodial activities.

Medicare does not cover expenses related to custodial care. This means that you will need to make alternative plans to pay for this assistance if it becomes necessary.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare will cover assistance in the aftermath of an injury, illness or surgery. It will only cover the expenses related to acute care in full for the first twenty days. After this, Medicare will split a copay balance with the patient for up to 100 days. After 100 days, Medicare will no longer assist with costs related to acute care.

Medicare will also cover some expenses if a doctor prescribes assistance. For instance, if you need skilled nursing care and your doctor prescribes this, Medicare will cover it. Medicare will also cover physical therapy and certain Social Services to help assist you in the aftermath of an injury or illness.

Medicare will also help if you have a degenerative condition. These may include multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or ALS.