Social Security statements now are advising recipients that Medicare does not cover long term care expenses.

The Social Security Administration recently changed the wording of the statement, sent annually to Americans age 25 and up, to make it clear that individuals need to plan for the possibility they might eventually need long term care.

“Social Security pays retirement, disability, family and survivors benefits,” the SSA says in the statement. “Medicare, a separate program run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, helps pay for inpatient hospital care, nursing care, doctors’ fees, drugs and other medical services and supplies to people age 65 and older, as well as to people who have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for two years or more. Medicare does not pay for long term care, so you may want to consider options for private insurance.”

The SSA changed the wording of the statement after members of Congress asked it to explain that paying for LTC expenses is outside the scope of Medicare, according to Cameron Truesdell, chief executive of LTC Financial Partners L.L.C., Kirkland, Wash.

“This clarification is long overdue,” Truesdell says.