Americans are living longer than ever thanks to medical advances. While having more time to enjoy our golden years is a plus, it also requires more financial planning. The longer that you are likely to live, the more likely it is that you will need assisted living at some point.

However, assisted living services can be very expensive. Thus, it is important to plan appropriately. Many people believe that Medicare will step in to help cover the cost of assisted living. According to LongTermCare.gov, Medicare will not cover the vast majority of assisted living expenses.

What services will Medicare cover?

In certain circumstances, Medicare will cover a short-term stay in a skilled nursing facility if you meet specific conditions. In this instance, Medicare will cover 100% of the cost for 20 days. For days 21 through 100, you will be responsible for a copay. After 100 days, Medicare no longer covers costs associated with a skilled nursing facility.

Medicare will also pay for hospice care in the event of terminal illness with the patient no longer seeking a cure for the ailment. Medicare will pay if the patient is not expected to live for longer than 6 months.

What does Medicare not cover?

As we age, it is natural to require more assistance with everyday tasks like bathing, cooking, and general housekeeping duties. Medicare will not cover assistance for daily tasks like these.

Paying for long-term care can be expensive and requires a careful approach to planning. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to tap into home equity or veterans benefits to pay for long-term care.