Insurance Won’t Pay

Care Inclusion Guide Conflict Insurance Won’t Pay

Not-so-fun fact: Medicare – the primary health care insurance plan for people 65+ in the U.S. – does NOT cover the vast majority of long-term care services in homes and communities. Medicaid does, but it has limited eligibility, leaving most people without long-term care coverage.

Story Sparks:

  • When Dario has a stroke and resulting dementia, his family are surprised to discover that his medical insurance doesn’t cover the long-term care he will require. Finding another way to pay for his care is going to be a full-family effort.
  • Eli’s sister Joyelle is aging. They want to bring on a home health aide, but her health care coverage only pays for facility-based care, and Joyelle does not want to leave her home and neighbors. Especially because she finally got to pick the book for Book Club this month! She’s making everyone read Brand Taylor’s Filthy Animals – deal with it!
  • Indra and Hasim’s young child Karthik has a developmental disability and needs occupational and speech therapy. Even with medical insurance, the co-pays are a lot, but their family’s income is too high to benefit from public programs that could help cover the cost. Now they’ve got to fight a broken system in addition to fighting Karthik’s obsession with his Nintendo Switch.


Many people only discover the above ^^ after a crisis hits. <Dramatic Sting> There’s the end of the first act right there…or maybe it’s a midpoint, but it’s definitely not all is lost because there is more story. Stories on screen can help raise awareness about all the ways people might not be covered for their care needs. And when we’ve solved that, it can give your characters – and all of us – a Hollywood ending.

A quick note: scenarios described here are generalized from information that Caring Across Generations has collected through focus groups, polling, and other research. They are generalized scenarios and are not any one individual’s story, and they are not meant to be comprehensive of all experiences having to do with care. This resource is intended to illuminate new storytelling opportunities that also contribute to a more authentic and holistic representation of care on screen.