Does Medicare Pay for Nursing Homes or Assisted Living?

As we’ve seen before, there are certainly a lot of ways to pay for long-term care. However, it is important to note that Medicare generally does not pay for long-term care in a nursing home. Nursing home care isn’t normally covered by a lot of health insurances either, but that doesn’t mean that you should drop your coverage (this includes Medicare) if you’re in a nursing home. This is because, even if it doesn’t cover nursing home stays, you’re still going to need that health coverage for things like hospital care, doctor services, and medical supplies while you stay in the nursing home.

While Medicare normally won’t cover long-term care costs, you should know that Medicaid does, and if you qualify for it, you could possibly get help paying for the costs of the nursing home. However, not all facilities accept payment from Medicaid. You should check with the facility to see if it accepts those who have Medicaid, and if there is a Medicaid bed available (more on Medicaid beds in a later article). You could be eligible for help from Medicaid for nursing home care even if you haven’t qualified for other Medicaid-related services previously.

You should also know that there are times where you might not be eligible to receive Medicaid until you have spent some of your own personal resources on medical care. You might be moved to another room in the Medicaid-certified section of the facility when care is paid for by Medicaid. To find out more information regarding the Medicaid eligibility requirements for your state, contact your local Medicaid office. 

You should also contact your local Medicaid office if you wish to apply for eligibility. They will be able to tell you whether or not you qualify for the Medicaid nursing home benefit or other programs that may be available, like the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (or PACE), or any home and community-based waiver programs.

So as you can see, even if Medicare doesn’t usually pay for Assisted Living Facilities or Nursing Home care, there are still options available to you, such as Medicaid.