Nov 25, 2019

Buttigieg's new plan for long-term care

Pete Buttigieg

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is out this morning with a new plan to shore up long-term care, along with other retirement-related priorities.

Why it matters: Older people caucus, and long-term care is an enormous strain on millions of families.

The big picture: Medicare doesn’t cover the services performed in nursing homes or by home health aides.

  • Medicaid does, but families often have to sell their homes and spend all their money to become poor enough to get Medicaid.
  • Some pay out of pocket, but the costs can be astronomical.

How it works: The cornerstone of Buttigieg’s plan is a stipend to help people cover their long-term care costs — $90 per day, which the campaign says “would kick in after an income-related waiting period.”

  • Medicaid today only covers long-term care for people who have less than $2,000 in assets. Buttigieg proposes raising that to $10,000.
  • He has endorsed a $15/hour minimum wage and argues that this would help expand the long-term care workforce.
  • The plan also calls for mandating Medicaid coverage either at home or in a nursing home — home care can be harder to come by today.

Go deeper: The looming crisis in long-term care

Go deeper