Medicare and Continuing Care

Frequently Asked Questions

15. What are some ways to pay for nursing home care?

Nursing home care can be very expensive. Medicare generally doesn't cover nursing home care. There are many ways people can pay for nursing home care. For example, they can use their own money, they may be able to get help from their state, or they may use long-term care insurance.

Nursing home care isn't covered by many types of health insurance. 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.

Medicaid is a state and Federal program that will pay most nursing home costs for people with limited income and resources. Eligibility varies by state. Medicaid pays for care for about 7 out of every 10 nursing home residents. Medicaid will pay for nursing home care only when provided in a Medicaid-certified facility. For information about Medicaid eligibility, call your state Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Office.

If you have questions about Medicaid, you can call your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office for more information. Visit http://www.medicare.gov on the web. (Under "Search Tools," select "Find Helpful Phone Numbers and Websites.") Or, call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) to get the telephone number. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.