This section of Texas Health Compare is designed to help with your long-term care-related questions - especially about quality and costs. If you have questions about specific health care coverage issues, send them to ConsumerProtection@tdi.state.tx.us.
Quick Links: Cost & Quality | Additional Advice
Texas Health Care Policy Council & the Texas Department of Insurance
Compare Cost & Quality . . .
The state's Long Term Care Ombudsman Program website[ www.dads.state.tx.us/news_info/ombudsman/choosing.html ] provides links to a number of lists and tools for finding and evaluating nursing facilities. Also included is a search tool for free-standing nursing homes that allows you to search for nursing homes by county, ZIP code, telephone area code or city. Click on a facility's name for information about ownership, bed capacity, overall rating, quality indicator scores and inspection results.
If you need a benefits counselor or you are a consumer or caregiver in immediate need of long-term care services, call 2-1-1 or contact an Area Agency on Aging benefits counselor in your area. Contact information is listed at www.dads.state.tx.us/services/index.cfm.
If you need information about long-term care planning, try the federal or state Own Your Future campaign websites. Both contain resource guide information to help you plan in many life areas. Another federal resource is the Long-Term Care page at www.medicare.gov. Also read our consumer publications on long-term care insurance - Long-Term Care Insurance | Long-Term Care Insurance Rate Guide. If you have questions about a long-term care insurance policy, call our Consumer Help Line at 1-800-252-3439.
More long-term care information, especially about facilities, is available at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services - Nursing Facilities. You also can contact the state's long-term care ombudsman online or at (512) 438-4356 or (800) 252-2412. The ombudsman can identify, investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, residents of long-term care facilities and provide services to help protect residents' health, safety, welfare and rights. The ombudsman program also is charged with providing information and assistance in choosing the most appropriate facility.
The Texas Department of Insurance offers Texas seniors several resources for information on long-term care, Medicare and Medicare supplement insurance.
- Long-Term Care Resource Page [ www.tdi.state.tx.us/consumer/hicap/hicapltc05.html ]
- Publications for Seniors [ www.tdi.state.tx.us/consumer/hicap/publicat.html ]
- Covering the Cost of Medicare [ www.tdi.state.tx.us/consumer/hicap/hicapnews400.html ]
- Medicare Part D [ www.tdi.state.tx.us/consumer/hicap/medicarepartd.html ]
- Key Contacts for Medicare Beneficiaries [ www.tdi.state.tx.us/consumer/hicap/phone.html ]
Some additional advice . . .
Tips for Finding Good Nursing Home Care
- Find names of local facilities. Check with the Area Agency on Aging in your region or check the Eldercare website listed below. You can find contact information listed at www.dads.state.tx.us/services/index.cfm.
- Check on ownership. Independent nonprofit facilities often have a better track record than for-profit chains.
- Check with your local long-term care ombudsman. Contact the state's long-term care ombudsman online or at (512) 438-4356 or (800) 252-2412.
- Don't rely on any one website. Gather your information about nursing homes from a number of sources.
- Visit homes several times.
- Read each home's Form 2567 - that's the facility's state inspection survey.
- Check on the staff. Talk to the home's administrator. Ask about staffing and turnover. Talk with staff to see how friendly and helpful they seem.
YourTexasBenefits, a website [ www.yourtexasbenefits.com/wps/portal ] of the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, offers online applications to Medicaid, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Children's Health Insurance, and nursing home care and other services for people who are elderly or have disabilities.
The Government Benefits Portal [ www.benefits.gov ] helps determine whether you qualify for various federal government benefits, including help with your long-term care needs.
Medicare's Nursing Home Compare website [ www.medicare.gov/NHCompare ] provides detailed information on various aspects of performance and includes data on every nursing home in the country. [ Spanish Version - En Espa?ol ]
Medicare's Home Health Compare website [ www.medicare.gov/HomeHealthCompare/search.aspx ] allows visitors to compare information on the past performance of every Medicare and Medicaid certified home health services provider in the country, including providers of nursing and physical therapy care. [ Spanish Version - En Espa?ol ]
The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program [ http://www.ltcfeds.com/ ] offers help to employees of the federal government and their dependents. It is sponsored by the Federal Government and backed by two of the country's top insurance companies. The Federal Program is designed to help protect enrollees against the high costs of long term care.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) website [ www.ncoa.org ] helps persons age 55 and older and those on Medicare connect to more than 200 private and government prescription assistance programs with savings on 800 medications. NCOA's BenefitsCheckUpRx website [ www.benefitscheckup.org ] includes a short and simple questionnaire to determine whether you may qualify for assistance. The website serves as a confidential screening device. It does not (1) determine actual eligibility, (2) calculate benefit amounts or (3) enroll you in any programs. However, it does help determine if you are likely to be eligible, and provides advice and information on how to apply for benefits.
The Eldercare Locator website [ Eldercare Locator ] lets you use a ZIP code, city or county to find sources of state and local information on senior services. The website is sponsored by the U.S. Administration on Aging.
The list of websites included here should not be considered complete, nor should their inclusion be considered as an endorsement by the Texas Department of Insurance. TDI does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy of the websites listed.
For more information contact: