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Understanding Medicare Coverage for Long-Term Nursing Home Care

September 14, 20232 min read

At Stansfield Health and Life, we are committed to providing you with the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on Medicare coverage. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of Medicare coverage for long-term nursing home care, offering you a clear understanding of the benefits, eligibility criteria, and important considerations.

Medicare's Role in Long-Term Nursing Home Care

Medicare is a valuable federal health insurance program that primarily covers medical expenses for individuals aged 65 and older. While it offers robust coverage for various healthcare services, it's essential to note that Medicare has limitations when it comes to long-term nursing home care.

Eligibility for Medicare Coverage

To qualify for Medicare coverage for nursing home care, individuals must meet specific criteria:

Age and Citizenship:

  • The individual must be 65 years of age or older.

  • They must be either a U.S. citizen or a legal resident who has lived in the country for at least five years.

Hospital Stay Requirement:

  • Medicare covers nursing home care following a qualifying hospital stay of at least three days.

Medical Necessity:

  • The nursing home care must be deemed medically necessary for the individual's condition.

Medicare Part A: Inpatient Care

Medicare Part A primarily covers inpatient hospital care. However, it also extends coverage to skilled nursing facility (SNF) care in specific situations. SNF care is essential for those who require rehabilitation services or skilled nursing care after a hospital stay.

Duration of Coverage

Medicare Part A covers the first 20 days in full, and from day 21 to day 100, there may be a daily co-payment. After day 100, Medicare coverage ends. This is where Medicare beneficiaries often need to explore alternative options, such as long-term care insurance or Medicaid.

Medicaid as a Supplemental Option

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program designed to provide financial assistance to individuals with limited income and assets. It plays a crucial role in covering long-term nursing home care for those who have exhausted their Medicare benefits.

Planning Ahead

Long-term care planning is essential to ensure you have the coverage you need when the time comes. Consider the following steps:

  • Assess Your Financial Situation: Determine your financial resources and explore long-term care insurance options.

  • Understand Medicaid Eligibility: Familiarize yourself with your state's Medicaid eligibility criteria.

  • Consult a Financial Advisor: Seek advice from a financial advisor who specializes in long-term care planning.

  • Review Your Medicare Plan: Regularly review your Medicare plan and be aware of any changes in coverage.


In conclusion, while Medicare provides valuable coverage for many healthcare needs, it's crucial to understand its limitations when it comes to long-term nursing home care. Planning ahead and exploring supplemental options like Medicaid can help ensure that you or your loved ones receive the care they need in their golden years. For personalized guidance and support, contact us at Stansfield Health and Life.

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Disclaimer: Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information. We’re not connected with or endorsed by the United States government or the federal Medicare program. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all your options.

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