There are many moving parts to consider when planning your estate, but it is also important to make necessary provisions for yourself while you may still be alive. Americans are living longer than ever these days, which is a feat of medical science, but this means that planning for our golden years is more important than ever. Many people think that Medicare will help them cover necessary assisted living expenses when the time comes, but this is not true. According to LongTermCare.gov, Medicare does not cover most long-term care services.

The only time that Medicare will help you pay for assisted living services is if your doctor directly recommends this sort of care. Medicare coverage requires you to have been admitted into the hospital for at least three days and then be admitted directly into a Medicare-certified nursing facility. Even if you meet these requirements, the cost will only be covered for 20 days. After this there is a copayment period, and after 100 days there is no financial assistance at all.

Essentially, if you get to a point in your life where you need assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, and getting around the house, you are going to need to have a plan to pay for this out of pocket. Some individuals choose to purchase insurance for long-term care, but this is not advisable or necessary in all situations. Other ways to pay for long term care involve home equity, investments, or veterans’ benefits if you or a spouse qualifies for those. There are also different options for assisted living, such as hiring an assistant for a certain number of hours per day.

It is important to plan for the reality of assisted living prior to when it becomes a necessity.