As people age, or if sudden illnesses strike, individuals may need assistance with everyday activities such as eating, bathing, and dressing. If they don’t have a family member able to offer around-the-clock care, who pays for long term care services?

Many don’t realize the true cost of Long Term Care until they or someone they know experience it themselves. Continue reading to learn more about who pays for long term care.


Most middle class or wealthy individuals will be responsible for paying for their own home care, assisted living, or nursing home care. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead for you and your spouse (if applicable). Understand the cost of care in your area and make a plan for how you’ll pay for it.

It’s never too early to start planning. Long term care services aren’t only needed for the elderly. A sudden accident or illness could leave you or a loved one in need of long term care services with no warning.


Sometimes family members become responsible for paying for care services when a parent or loved one cannot afford to pay for their care on their own. Families should have the conversation about who’s paying for care in advance to avoid unnecessary surprises.

In some cases, children will transfer the risk of paying for their parent’s care by paying for their long term care insurance policy. See below for more details.

Insurance Companies

Because long term care is expensive and may last for three years or more (up to 10+ years in cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia), many transfer their risk to an insurance company.

Long term care insurance pays for home care, assisted living, nursing home care, and even home modifications when an individual can no longer do two out of six activities of daily living – eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking), and continence.

Individuals and couples can buy coverage for themselves to have more options for care and less financial pressure on their families. In addition, children can buy coverage for their parents to offer both themselves and their parents more options when care is needed.

State Governments (Medicaid)

Low-income individuals who cannot afford their own care may qualify for state Medicaid programs. The middle class and wealthy typically do not qualify for state support unless their assets are spent down to $2,000.

However, what most people don’t realize is many states have aggressive asset recovery programs. This means, if your state spends money on your care, they’ll come back for it after you pass away. They may recoup their money by taking family property or other previously protected assets. This often leaves surviving family members dealing with grief upon grief after someone’s passing.

Do you know who’s paying for your long term care? Now is the time to plan while you’re young and healthy. Get a free quote for long term care insurance and learn more about your options.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.