More than half of the residents in Illinois nursing homes

have their care paid for by Medicaid.

If you think this federal/state program is only for poor people, consider this: More than half of the residents in Illinois nursing homes have their care paid for by Medicaid.

You may be one of those poor people one day if you end up in a nursing home or needing long-term care.

Nationally, Medicaid covers 60 percent of nursing home patients, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

Today, you may have the income, savings and investments to count yourself in the middle class. After a few years of paying for a nursing home, you may run through your money – and after a lifetime of working and thrift you may end up a low-income senior in desperate need of the Medicaid safety net to pay your long-term care expenses.

“Illinois cannot absorb additional financial burdens that would be imposed on the state and would be forced to reduce eligibility, covered services and payments to providers,” the Illinois Health and Hospital Association said in statement. “The magnitude of these cuts and changes to Medicaid is staggering.”

The group represents about 200 hospitals and about 50 health care systems in Illinois.

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