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Will medicare cover assisted living?

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living? A Detailed Guide

As people age, the question of how to cover the costs of long-term care, including assisted living, becomes increasingly important. This issue is particularly relevant for many seniors and their families seeking financial assistance through programs like Medicare. In this article, we will explore in detail what Medicare covers regarding assisted living and what alternatives are available to cover these costs.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program in the United States for people aged 65 and older, as well as some younger individuals with disabilities. The program is divided into several parts, each covering different aspects of healthcare:

  • Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance): Covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, and limited home health care.
  • Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance): Covers doctor services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.
  • Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage): Private plans that offer all the benefits of Parts A and B, often including additional services.
  • Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage): Covers the cost of prescription drugs.

Medicare and Assisted Living

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the costs of assisted living. Assisted living facilities provide help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing, taking medication, and preparing meals, which falls under the category of long-term care. Medicare primarily covers short-term medical needs, not the long-term non-medical care needed in assisted living.

What Does Medicare Cover?

While Medicare does not cover direct costs for assisted living, there are certain services that may be covered if they are medically necessary:

  • Home Health Care: If a person requires medical treatment at home, Medicare may cover the cost for short-term services of a skilled nurse, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Care: After a hospital stay, Medicare may cover short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility for up to 100 days if medically necessary.
  • Hospice Care: Covers care for individuals with a terminal illness, including medical care, social services, and counseling.

Alternative Options for Covering Assisted Living Costs

Although Medicare does not cover assisted living, there are other options that can help cover these costs:

  • Medicaid: A state and federal program for low-income individuals that can cover assisted living costs. Each state has different eligibility requirements and coverage.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Special insurance policies designed to cover long-term care costs, including assisted living.
  • Veterans Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs offers certain benefits that may include assisted living for veterans and their families.
  • Private Pay: Many people use their savings, retirement funds, or sell assets to cover the costs.


Understanding what Medicare covers concerning assisted living can be confusing, but it is important to know that this program generally does not cover these costs. Instead, users will need to explore alternative funding sources such as Medicaid, long-term care insurance, veterans benefits, and private pay. If you have additional questions or need assistance in finding the right insurance plan, feel free to contact our brokerage firm for expert advice and support. 

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