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Paying for Care

Paying for Nursing Home Care

While Medicare covers some skilled nursing care, it is not a long-term care program. Medicare covers up to 100 days of nursing home care, but only in limited situations. To qualify for this benefit, an individual must need daily skilled care (seven days a week of nursing care or five days a week of rehabilitative care). Moreover, the individual must have been hospitalized for at least three days and must be admitted to the nursing home within 30 days of discharge from the hospital. Medicare pays days 1 through 20 at 100%. For days 21 through 100 there will be a co-payment.

Private Pay
Most people who enter nursing homes begin by paying for their care out of their own pocket. As they use up their resources over a period of time, they may eventually become eligible for Medicaid. You can use your savings to pay for nursing home care. Some insurance companies let you use your life insurance policy to pay for long-term care. Ask your insurance agency how this works.

A joint Federal and State program that pays for certain health services and nursing home care for older people with low incomes and limited assets. If you qualify, you may be able to get help to pay for nursing home care or other health care costs. If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, most health care costs are covered. Remember, not all nursing homes accept Medicaid payment. Check with the nursing home to see if they accept Medicaid, and if they have a Medicaid bed available.

Long-Term Care Insurance
This type of private insurance policy can help pay for many types of long-term care, including both skilled and non-skilled care. Long-term care insurance can vary widely. If you have long-term care insurance, check your policy, or call the insurance company to find out if the care you need is covered. If you are shopping for long-term care insurance, find out which types of long-term care services and facilities the different policies cover. Also, check to see if your coverage could be limited because of a pre-existing condition.  Click here for more information about long-term care insurance.

Veterans Benefits
The Veterans Administration may provide assistance for nursing home expenses to some veterans. Assistance may also be available to some children and surviving spouses of veterans. In order to receive these benefits, you must choose a nursing home that is under contract with the Veterans Administration. Contact the local VA office for information.

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National Clearinghouse for Long-term Care Information

Administration on Aging
Washington, DC ,  20201
Phone: 202-619-0724
Phone Extension:
Area(s) Served: Nationwide Contracted Provider: Not Applicable
Description:   The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, developed this website to provide information and resources to help you and your family plan for future long-term care (LTC) needs. The site will help you understand what long... read more

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