Medicare, which primarily covers care for people age 65 or older, pays about 9 percent of the nation's nursing facility costs, and only under strict circumstances. True, Medicaid will pay for long-term care, but only after an individual has "spent down" her assets to the point of poverty. Source: "What Consumers Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance," National Center of Assisted Living, 2001; Source: Senate Testimony, March 27, 2001.

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