Q:

Does Medicare cover assisted living or nursing home care?

A:

Quick Answer

Medicare typically does not cover assisted living or nursing home care, states Medicare.gov. The only time Medicare provides coverage for nursing home care is when an individual requires short-term care in a skilled nursing facility before returning to independent living. In this case, Medicare covers up to 100 days of care.

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Full Answer

Medicaid is actually the government program that can provide coverage for long-term nursing home care or assisted living. However, not all nursing homes or assisted living facilities accept Medicaid. Medicaid is administered on a state level and can pay for the cost of a nursing home for individuals that meet the medical requirements for a higher level of care.

There are some limits as to who can receive coverage through Medicaid. Some patients may have to pay out-of-pocket costs in addition to Medicaid. Others may have to reduce any assets, such as savings, before qualifying. Medicaid does allow the state to put a lien on a recipient's property when the recipient passes away. This is generally done via the estate as a way to recoup the funds that were paid. However, liens cannot be placed on a property if a spouse or dependent is living in the home, or if the patient has a reasonable chance to return to the home after a stay in the nursing home.

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