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Does Medicaid or Medicare Pay for Assisted Living? | Elmcroft

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Do Senior Living Communities Accept Medicare or Medicaid?

As healthcare costs continue to rise, you may wonder how your parents are going to cover the expenses. According to Genworth Financial, an average assisted living community costs $43,200 each year. Skilled nursing communities range between $80-and-$90,000 a year for semi-private and private rooms, respectively.

It’s important for adult children and family caregivers to understand the expense that relate to senior living communities. This includes discovering what is and isn’t covered by Medicare and Medicaid.


Do Medicare Plans Pay for Senior Living Expenses?

Medicare is a type of health insurance that Americans 65 and older are eligible to receive. It does not cover the expenses associated with custodial care or retirement living, which includes both independent and assisted living communities.

Medicare typically only covers a short-term stay in a skilled nursing or rehabilitation community while an older adult is recovering from an illness or injury. It can also cover in-home rehab care performed by a home health nurse or therapist.

It does not cover non-medical care services such as:

  • Assisted living
  • Long-term care in a nursing care community
  • Residential care homes
  • Non-medical home care


Does Medicaid Pay for Senior Living Communities?

Your parent would qualify for Medicaid if they have a low income and few assets besides their home. The qualifications for an individual to receive this type of coverage vary by state. Similar to Medicare, the majority of senior living communities do not accept Medicaid waivers to finance long-term care. 


What Costs Does Medicare Cover for Your Senior Parent?

A senior’s Medicare benefit covers the expenses relating to medical care such as kidney dialysis, diagnostic tests, emergency ambulance services and more. Other covered costs include:

  • Emergency care
  • Treatment for macular degeneration
  • Diabetes care
  • Limited medical supplies
  • Preventative Services
  • Transplants

Some Medicare Health Plans (HMOs) include extra services such as prescription drugs, dental care and vision check-ups.


How Can You Pay for Senior Living?

Understanding the costs of senior care can help a caregiver like you determine how to pay for it. If you’re in the process of helping your loved one plan their future living arrangements, start to assess your available resources.

  • Long-term care insurance typically covers custodial care. Coverage varies by policy, but assisted living and memory care community expenses are usually covered by this type of insurance.
  • Many families choose to pay for assisted living through personal finances. Selling assets, such as your parents’ home, may provide extra funds that can help pay for their new apartment.
  • Home equity “bridge” loans are another avenue for financing senior living while you are working to sell a senior’s home or liquidate other assets.


To learn more about senior living communities and how you can help your loved one finance this transition, we encourage you to follow the Elmcroft Senior Living blog.

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