In-home services such as help with household chores and caregiver respite will be available to seniors with private Medicare Advantage plans in more than 20 states next year.
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A health-related reason is needed to qualify, and costs will vary depending on the plan. With some plans, there will be no added cost. There will be limits on benefits, the Associated Press reported.
The number of states where the new services are available is expected to grow over time.
The new in-home services could help seniors remain in their homes longer, according to the AP.
These services are similar to what people might require in long-term care, noted Howard Gleckman, a senior researcher at the nonpartisan Urban Institute think tank.
"It begins to break down the wall between long-term care and Medicare, which, with very few exceptions, has never paid for long-term care," Gleckman told the AP.
It's expected that nearly 23 million Medicare beneficiaries, more than 1 in 3, will be covered by a Medicare Advantage plan next year.
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