Planning for where your loved one will live in his or her last years is often a very fraught decision. One of the things that many families concern themselves with is how much a nursing home costs.
Some Americans believe that Medicare will cover their nursing home stays as they age. However, this is not the case. According to Medicare, most of the time it does not cover long-term care stays in a nursing home.
What does Medicare cover?
Medicare will only cover limited stays in nursing homes. Typically, this occurs after a doctor prescribes a patient nursing home care after an extended illness or injury. Even with a doctor’s prescription, Medicare will only cover the stay in the nursing home for a limited amount of time. Thus, you should not rely on Medicare to cover anything related to assistance with daily activities.
What does Medicaid cover?
On the other hand, it is possible that Medicaid will help with nursing home expenses depending on your loved one’s income and resources. If your loved one qualifies for both Medicare and Medicaid it is highly likely that this will cover most costs associated with nursing home or assisted living care.
It is also possible if your loved one does not qualify for Medicaid due to his or her income or assets that he or she will eventually “spend down” these assets. This may cause him or her to become eligible. This is why, even in the event that your loved one does not qualify for Medicaid assistance right away, it is a good idea to check if your target nursing home accepts Medicaid.