Who Will Have Unmet Long-Term Care Needs and How Does Medicaid Help?

IB#21-18

The brief’s key findings are:

  • A growing concern is whether retirees will have enough family and financial resources to meet their future long-term care needs.
  • This study builds on our prior work to estimate the share of 65-year-olds likely to fall short and the extent to which Medicaid will help.
  • The results show more than a third of retirees will have moderate or severe needs that they cannot cover on their own, but Medicaid reduces this share to a quarter.
  • Medicaid is especially helpful in closing the gap for those with limited resources: unmarried women, those with no college degree, and Blacks and Hispanics.
  • These results alone do not tell the full story, as those who fall short do so to varying degrees and falling short is much harder on those with severe needs.

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