CMS Administrator Thomas Scully said his agency would introduce a program encouraging seniors to take out reverse mortgages on their homes to pay for home care and nursing-home care. The CMS will publicize the program within weeks, Scully said during a speech yesterday at a seniors' care conference in Washington. State Medicaid programs, which pay for 68% of U.S. nursing-home care, were intended to provide healthcare for the poor not long-term care for middle-class seniors, Scully said. A reverse mortgage is a type of home equity loan that allows home owners to convert some of their home equity into cash while retaining home ownership. "This would be a huge step that would give seniors good access to long-term care," Scully said. "The infrastructure is there. These programs exist at (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). But nobody's really looked at this as a way of paying for long-term care." -- by Mark Taylor
CMS: Reverse mortgages could finance senior care
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