Does Medicare Cover Care in Nursing Homes?


Susan Kelly

Dec 31, 2022

To help those with low incomes and few resources, the federal government and individual states created Medicaid. Most of your medical expenses will be covered if you are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Almost all nursing homes take Medicaid, while it's not required. It's important to know if the nursing home you're considering accepts Medicaid even if you plan to pay privately or with long-term care insurance because you may end up "spending down" your assets while you're there.

Individuals Residing In A Nursing Facility

It's important to note that each state's Medicaid program is unique. Income and assets are typically used as qualifying factors. Income requirements for nursing home residents to qualify for Medicaid are often higher in several states. Even if you've never been approved for Medicaid before, you might be able to get coverage for nursing home care.

Coverage for ongoing medical expenses

This insurance can cover both skilled and unskilled forms of long-term care. The premiums for these policies range substantially. It's possible to find policies that cover nursing home care, but others may extend coverage to adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, medical supplies, and even informal home care.

Before beginning any treatment, it's a good idea to verify your long-term care insurance coverage or get in touch with your provider to see if the expenses will be covered.

Compare the different policies' coverage of long-term care services and facilities before settling on one. Look into whether or not your preexisting ailment could affect your insurance coverage. Make sure you're dealing with a legit business with a license to operate in your state.

Acceptable Relatives

Long-term care insurance may be available at reduced group rates for federal employees, armed forces members, retirees, and their spouses and eligible relatives. Learn more about federal employee long-term care insurance.

Indulgent Means

Nursing home care can be paid for with personal funds and savings. A life insurance policy can sometimes cover long-term care expenses. Find out what your specific policy covers by calling your insurance company.

When a patient enters a nursing home, would Medicare cover their expenses?

English | Espaol Medicare does not pay for long-term care in any setting, including nursing homes, assisted living communities, or the patient's home.

Medicare covers services provided in these venues. However, it does not cover the expense of a stay in a long-term care facility or custodial care (assistance with ADLs, including showering, dressing, eating, and using the restroom).

Does Medicare pay for skilled nursing care if it's needed for only a few days?

Medicare Part A, which pays for hospital stays, sometimes covers stays in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) that are also Medicare-certified. To get the most out of your recovery from a hospital stay, your doctor may recommend that you check into a facility that offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.

Medical care center

Only if you were an inpatient at a hospital for at least three days would you be eligible for skilled nursing facility care coverage. However, this is different from being in the hospital under observation, which does not count even if you spend the night there. It would be best if you inquired about your status when entering the hospital, whether you are being hospitalized or kept under observation.

Your benefit period will begin when you enter a hospital or skilled nursing facility as an inpatient or resident and will terminate on the 60th day after you leave one of these facilities. Depending on the specifics of the laws, this could mean more than one benefit period in a given year. Remember that the substantial expense of long-term care in a nursing home or other institution is not covered by Medicare. But there might be other ways to pay for long-term care.

Insurance for the cost of ongoing medical treatment.

Some people purchase long-term care insurance to cover the costs of nursing home stays, assisted living expenses, or in-home caregiving. A person must have severe cognitive impairment or need assistance with at least two ADLs to get benefits.


Much of the cost of nursing home care in the United States are covered by Medicaid, a federally funded but state-run health insurance program for low-income individuals and families. Medicaid eligibility guidelines vary by state but generally need low income and no assets.


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