Medicaid Assistance for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living:
Frequent Questions and Resources
Paying for a nursing home or assisted living care can quickly drain lifelong savings. Thankfully, there is financial help for those who qualify through the Medicaid program.
To help you find out whether assistance is within your reach, here is a list of basic requirements.
General criteria for eligibility
These are the non-financial guidelines established by the federal government:
- You must be 65 or older, blind or disabled, a U.S. citizen and have a social security number.
- You must be admitted under a doctor’s order.
- You must meet the medical criteria for needing nursing home care.
- You must meet the financial requirements.
- You must get a pre-admission screening.
Each state has different income requirements. “Income” is considered any money or benefits you receive monthly, such as
- Social Security,
- trust income,
- monthly annuity payments and/or
- Veteran’s Administration benefits.
Each state has different resource limits. Resources are defined as assets you and your spouse own before entering a nursing home. It is important to know that you cannot give away assets to make yourself Medicaid-eligible without a penalty. Medicaid generally looks at asset transfers during the 60 months before you apply. If Medicaid finds transfers, it may result in ineligibility or a penalty. Here are examples of resources:
- Stocks and bonds (annuities, IRAs, money market accounts)
- All bank accounts
- Life insurance (cash value)
- Trust accounts
- Funeral trust accounts
To find the resource and income limits for your state, or if you have more questions, contact your local office:
If you meet the eligibility and resource requirements, you can apply for Medicaid through the following links:
Not all nursing homes and assisted living facilities accept Medicaid payments. It is important to ask the facility you choose whether they accept Medicaid patients.
For more information about how Medicaid can provide financial help, please read the Nursing Home Toolkit created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Your local office will also be able to help with eligibility, resource or application questions.