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Long-Term Care Decisions Due Sooner

New law allows consumers to challenge claim denial

Pricey premiums

Many can't afford a private long-term care policy, which costs $160 to $220 a month for a person who buys it between the ages of 45 and 55, Jeffries said.

A private assisted living center in Oregon costs about $3,500 a month, and a home health aide can cost $682 a month, according to PPI.

Others mistakenly think Medicare always pays for extended care.

Medicare pays for medically necessary skilled nursing facility care or home health care under some conditions.

Medicare does not pay for non-medical care — such as assistance with dressing, bathing or using the bathroom — if that's the only kind of care the patient needs.

Medicaid covers some long-term care for people with very low incomes. The Department of Veterans Affairs may pay for long-term care for service-related disabilities and in some other cases.

Information about long-term care insurance is available at:

  • The consumer advocacy hotline of the Oregon Insurance Division, 888-877-4894 toll-free or 503-947-7984.
  • The Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance program for Medicare information and assistance, toll-free at 800-722-4134 or 503-947-7979.

Paige Parker is a writer living in Eugene, Ore.

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