How To Pay For Nursing Home Care in 2021

Does the Government Pay for Nursing Home Care?

Many people in California ask if long-term care in a nursing home is covered by any government healthcare programs.  Medicare does not cover long-term stays in a nursing home for most people, however, Medicaid does. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps people who have a limited income and resources pay medical costs. It is the largest single payer for nursing home care in the country. In the State of California, the name of this Medicaid program is Medi-Cal.  Most health care costs for California residents are covered if they qualify for both Medicare and Medi-Cal. Seniors should know that almost all nursing homes accept Medi-Cal, but some do not.  If you’re looking for a suitable nursing home for yourself or a family member, then one of the first questions you’ll want to ask is whether the nursing home accepts Medi-Cal.

How To Get Qualified For Medi-Cal to Pay for a Nursing Home

California residents must meet very strict financial guidelines in order to qualify for Medi-Cal nursing home benefits. The rules are different depending on whether the person is married or single. Once a person is qualified they will have 100% of their nursing home costs paid for by Medi-Cal at an approved skilled nursing facility or convalescent home.  Even if a person has been told they do not qualify based on their assets, expert Elder Law attorneys at Elder Law Services of California can help them get qualified through their Medi-Cal Planning services.

How to Protect Your Assets From Nursing Home Costs

It’s not uncommon for a nursing home resident to “spend down” their assets as a result of a prolonged stay. At an average cost of almost $9,000. per month, a California resident’s savings can be depleted quickly.  In some states, it has been reported that a resident’s long-term care nursing home cost exceeded $20,000. per month.1 This is where Elder Law Services of California can be of assistance.  Through proper Medi-Cal Planning a California resident can get qualified for Medi-Cal benefits to cover the cost of long-term nursing home care and protect their assets and the family home from the Medi-Cal Estate Recovery program.  We suggest that you call Elder Law Services to schedule a free consultation with an expert Medi-Cal Planning Attorney to learn how you can get qualified for Medi-Cal, even if you have been previously told that you are not eligible for Medi-Cal benefits.

How to Avoid the Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Program

In California eligibility is based on a person’s income, personal savings, and the value of their other assets, including their home and any other real estate.  A person may be eligible for Medi-Cal coverage for a nursing home even if they haven’t been qualified for other Medi-Cal services in the past.  Medi-Cal Planning is the only legal means to protect a person’s assets from the Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Program, which seeks reimbursement for the costs incurred at a nursing home which were paid for by Medi-Cal.  When a person passes away, the State my attempt to collect payment from the person’s estate, which may mean that the family home has to be sold if there aren’t enough liquid assets or cash to satisfy what the State is trying to collect.  Elder Law Services of California has been helping families throughout California for over 25 years with asset protection and Medi-Cal qualification.

How To Protect Yourself and Your Family With Medi-Cal Planning

Many people who are not aware of the existence of Medi-Cal Planning and its many benefits will wind up using their personal money and savings to pay for nursing home care.  In some cases, the adult children or other family members will pool their assets to pay the cost until the person who needs care becomes eligible for government assistance. Other families have resorted to taking out a reverse mortgage on the family home which allows a homeowner to convert the home equity they’ve built up over time into cash. Also, some insurance companies may allow their policy owner to use their life insurance policy to pay for long-term nursing home care.  However, through Medi-Cal Planning, families can avoid potentially catastrophic financial situations which can result from having to pay for an unexpectedly prolonged stay in a skilled care nursing home facility.


Common Questions About How to Pay for Long-term Care Nursing Home Costs

  • Does Medicare cover nursing home costs?
  • Does Medicaid pay for long-term care in a nursing home?
  • How much does Medicaid pay for nursing home care?
  • What should I do if I was denied Medicaid for nursing home expenses?
  • What is the Medicaid nursing home lookback period?
  • How can I protect our assets from nursing home costs?
  • How can we pay for the nursing home when our money runs out?
  • What does Medicare pay for long-term care?

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