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How Does the Medicare Pace Program Help Older Adults?

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PACE (Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) is both a Medicare and Medicaid program that provides a wide range of social and medical services at adult day health centers, inpatient facilities, and at home. The program focuses on health care for older adults within a community and provides personalized, coordinated care for their specific needs. PACE’s overall mission is to help Medicare beneficiaries preserve their independence and delay nursing-home care as long as possible.

PACE teams include primary care doctors and nurses, social workers, dietitians, personal-care attendants, and therapists. Besides giving care in the home and community, the medical staff works with PACE centers. If you enroll in PACE, you’ll get all of your Medicare benefits through the program. PACE may also cover other medically necessary services that aren’t covered by Medicare.

Services covered by PACE

PACE centers may provide services such as:

  • Primary care
  • Hospital services
  • Home health care
  • Preventive services
  • Personal care and nursing support
  • Meals
  • Physical therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Social services
  • Dental services
  • Medical transportation (if medically necessary)
  • Prescription drugs*

*If you enroll in a PACE program, you can get your Medicare-covered prescription drugs through your PACE program instead of a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. If you enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, you’ll be disenrolled from PACE.

Eligibility for PACE

PACE may not be available in every state. To qualify for the program, you need to meet all of these requirements:

  • Be 55 years old or older.
  • Live in the service area of a PACE center.
  • Require a nursing home-level of care (as certified by your state).
  • Be able to safely live in the PACE community.

For more information and to apply, contact the Medicaid program in your state to see if your state offers PACE services.

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