Medicare and Continuing Care

Frequently Asked Questions

16. What is skilled nursing care and does Medicare cover the costs?

Medicare does cover skilled nursing care after a 3-day qualifying hospital stay. Skilled care is health care given when the person needs skilled nursing or rehabilitation staff to manage, observe, and evaluate his or her care. Care that can be given by non-professional staff isn't considered skilled care. Medicare does not cover custodial care or adult day care.

For more information on Medicare coverage of skilled nursing facility care, visit to look at or print a copy of the booklet "Medicare Coverage of Skilled Nursing Facility Care." (Under "Search Tools," select "Find a Medicare Publication.") You can also call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) to find out if a free copy can be mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.