Long-Term Care Accounts for Half of Medicaid Spending, Report Finds

Medicaid finances 43% of all long-term care spending including some associated with independent living, a Kaiser Family Foundation report finds. Although the population who rely on long-term care are diverse and comprise only 6% of the total Medicaid population in 2007, they accounted for nearly half of total Medicaid spending that year, the findings state.

For those who used long-term care services and supports during the time period, the average annual spending per Medicaid beneficiary was more than $43,000, compared with roughly $3,700 for those beneficiaries who did not use long-term care services, the report states, noting that Medicaid per capita spending was greatest among individuals with institutional long-term care spending. For elderly people, average per capita spending was $38,077.

Just a third of elderly Medicaid beneficiaries used long-term care services and supports, but they accounted for 87% of all Medicaid spending on the elderly, Kaiser reports. Of those who used LTC services, about half used predominantly institutional services, while 44% relied on community-based services and 4% used a combination.



Those who used institutional services spent more than twice, on average, what those who used community-based services spent. For those relying on institutional services, the average per capita spending was $53,593, compared with $20,764 for community-based LTC recipients.

View the full Kaiser Family Foundation report.


Written by Elizabeth Ecker