Will Medicaid pay for more than 100 days of nursing home care?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 12, 2012
A fellow caregiver asked...

My dad is 80 and is bed ridden. He is on medicaid and blue cross. He needs to get into a home, my mom is to old take care of him. Medicaid only pays for a hundred days- what if he needs more time?

Expert Answers

It seems that your question is mixing up Medicare and Medicaid (something that happens quite often). Medicare, the medical benefits program that almost everyone 65 and over is enrolled in, will only cover 100 days in a nursing facility. And even that Medicare nursing facility coverage has severe restrictions on it, including the fact that it only covers skilled nursing facility care while someone is recovering from an illness or injury, and only if that person goes into skilled nursing care following a hospital stay. Since it seems like you're asking about long-term nursing home care for your father because of his general frailty and poor health, Medicare is not the program that is likely help.

Medicaid is a completely different program from Medicare. Medicaid can pay the full cost of a nursing home for someone like your father, for an indefinite period. (You should be aware, though, that even if your father qualifies for Medicaid coverage for a nursing home, not all nursing homes accept Medicaid payment.) To qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, however, your father and mother together have to have relatively low income and few assets other than the house your mother will continue to live in.

To find out what the Medicaid rules are in the state where your parents live, go online to any search engine and enter the word Medicaid and the name of the state. Or, you can call the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 and ask them for contact information for Medicaid in your parents' state.