Nursing Home Alternatives

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Developed by the On Lok Senior Health Services, a non-profit based in the Chinatown area of San Francisco Bay in 1972, Programs for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) provide day care services and in-home services to prevent the elderly from being placed in nursing homes. PACE services include medical, pharmaceutical, social and recreational therapies. They even provide transportation for the elderly to commute to and from PACE health care centers.

Basic Eligibility for PACE

  • Participants must be able to live safely in the community once they receive PACE services.
  • Participants must be certified by the state as needing nursing home care.
  • Participants must be age 55 or older to join PACE
  • Participants must live within a PACE service area

PACE services include all the care covered under Medicare and Medicaid. PACE also includes custodial care and therapies that enable an individual to remain living safely in their home. PACE is focused on providing comprehensive care that meets the needs of each individual recipient. A team of health care professionals manage and monitor the care of the recipient and make sure that they are getting the care and help they need. Care is often adjusted over time. PACE is a great program and most participants are very happy with the services. However, many people either live outside of a PACE area or they do not meet the eligibility requirements.

Social Managed Care Plan

Social Manages Care Plans are another alternative for paying for long-term care. These plans are only available in a few select locations. They offer the same benefits as Medicare A and B but then they also offer a variety of services that are not covered under Medicare. These include some prescriptions drug benefits, long-term custodial care and at home services and community services like transportation. Social Managed Care Plans work a bit like Medigap Plans. Instead of helping with patient costs the plan helps with custodial services that are not covered under Medicare. Each plan is organized a bit differently and patient costs fluctuate. In addition, these plans are organized around a provider network and recipients are usually required to use members of the network for care.

To be eligible for a Social Managed Care Plan a recipient must live within the plan's service area, have Medicare Part A and Part B and in most cases be 65 years of age or older. People with end-stage renal disease are excluded from these plans.