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Very few government programs will help pay your long-term care expenses. Those that do, have strict eligibility requirements and limits on what is covered.

You should not count on Medicare to pay for your long-term services and supports needs. Medicare pays little or nothing for help with activities of daily living for long periods of time. Medigap insurance (supplemental insurance for Medicare) is not intended to meet long-term services and supports needs; it covers very few long-term services and supports.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is health insurance available to the following individuals:

  • Medicare is health insurance available to the following individuals:
  • People under 65 with certain disabilities
  • People of any age with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)

For more information about Medicare coverage and costs:

Resources to help navigate Medicare

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA)

Do you need help comparing Medicare medical and drug plan coverage? Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program counselors give one-on-one help with:

  • Understanding Medicare
  • Selecting a Medicare prescription drug plan
  • Comparing Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare supplement plans
  • Applying for Medicare savings programs, including Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug coverage.

Call SHIBA toll-free at 1-800-562-6900 or visit the program’s website to find a local SHIBA office.

Home equity

You may have greatly reduced or paid off your home mortgage by the time you need long-term services and supports. The value of your home may be more than its original purchase price. If so, there are several ways you can use that equity to pay for long-term services and supports.

Community Living Connections

The CLC’s can provide one-on-one assistance for persons with more complex needs or who are unable to leave their homes with applying for Medicare Savings Programs, including Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage. Find the CLC in your area.

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs help people receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid, avoid, detect and prevent health care fraud. They protect older adults and help preserve the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

You can reach the Program by calling 1-800-562-6900 or email SHIBA.

Washington’s Community Living Connections staff are available to help you explore your options to meet your current needs or create a plan for the future.

Medicare Application Checklist

This checklist from the Social Security Administration will help you gather the information you may need to complete the online Medicare, retirement and spouse's applications.

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