If you ask the women in our community what their top fears are for the coming decade, “losing my independence” would be high on their list. Most of these women worry that an illness – or simply age-related frailty – will eventually force them to leave their homes.

What these women don’t know is that it is not illness that most often lands us in assisted living. It falls and other accidents!

Even more tragic is the fact that, while many of the accidents that we experience as older adults are serious, they are also recoverable… as long as we can afford the rehabilitation therapy that is!

For those of us with private insurance, or millions-of-dollars in the bank, rehabilitation was a matter of discipline, skill and a little luck. But, for those of us who rely on Medicare, until recently, the situation was quite different. The reason? Caps.

Most Therapy Was Subject to Medicare Caps

The problem was that, according to AARP, most physical, speech or occupational therapy was subject to payment caps. Specifically, speech and physical therapy were capped at $2,010, combined. In addition, occupational therapy was capped at $2,010.

Many older adults who reached these caps could not continue their therapy and faced the difficult decision of whether to move into an assisted living facility or ask their family for more help.

When you think about it, this is bad for everyone involved. The individual who needs therapy loses their independence and the taxpayer may have to support part of their assisted living bill through Medicaid. It’s a lose/lose situation!

Good News for Seniors Just Arrived

Up until a few days ago, it wasn’t clear if the government was going to act to eliminate the Medicare caps on spending. Well, now, we have good news so share…

Congress has just repealed the caps for physical, speech and occupational therapy.

This means that older adults will be able to get the treatment that they need. It also means that more of us will be able to stay independent for longer, which is good news for us, our families and society.

What do you think of the Congress’ recent decision to eliminate the caps on Medicare coverage for physical, speech and occupational therapy? Do you think that this will help older adults who have suffered from injuries to stay independent longer? Let’s have a conversation!

Let's Have a Conversation!