“Income and Assets of Medicare Beneficiaries in 2023”

Income and Assets of Medicare Beneficiaries in 2023,” by Alex Cottrill, Juliette Cubanski, Tricia Neuman, and Karen Smith, KFF

“A new KFF analysis shows that most Medicare beneficiaries live on relatively low incomes and have modest financial resources for retirement – posing a risk to their economic well-being, particularly if they were to have a major, unanticipated expense, such as a need for long-term nursing home care. The financial picture is especially bleak among Black and Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries, who tend to have lower incomes, savings, and home equity than White beneficiaries, the analysis shows. Women have lower incomes and less savings than men, and beneficiaries’ income and savings tend to decline with age. … Some Medicare beneficiaries may be eligible for additional support from Medicaid, including those with very low incomes and limited savings, and others who spend down their assets to pay for their medical or long-term care costs. Medicaid offers coverage for nursing home care and other long-term care services and supports that are not generally covered by Medicare. However, for lower and middle income beneficiaries who do not qualify for Medicaid, the high cost of unanticipated medical and long-term services and supports may simply be unaffordable.”

LTC Comment, Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform:

This is cock-eyed analysis. The truth is that most Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for Medicaid LTC benefits. They do not have to have “very low incomes and limited savings” and they do not have to “spend down their assets to pay for their medical or long-term care costs.” I explained why this is so in a response to an earlier version of this KFF analysis: LTC Bullet: Hoist with its Own Petard, Friday, April 28, 2017. To make sense of what ails LTC, read the Paragon Health Institute’s “Long-Term Care: The Problem” and “Long-Term Care: The Solution” and watch this “virtual LTC event” featuring age wave visionary Ken Dychtwald and leading LTC researchers.