Medicaid, the largest public payer for long-term care, will (if you qualify) pay for nursing home care and other costs that Medicare does not cover. It may also cover some in-home care services.
Those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are likely to qualify for Medicaid automatically. You can also qualify if you have limited income and assets.
Eligibility guidelines vary by state. Assets considered for eligibility generally do not include homes, cars, household furnishings or burial plots. In some cases you may still qualify if your income exceeds your state’s eligibility level. And in several states, seniors may qualify for Medicaid after they have their income and assets on nursing home or other health care expenses. This is commonly referred to as the Medicaid “spend down.”
Older adults who do not qualify for larger government programs like Medicaid may find they qualify for state programs. Information can be found through your local Area Agency on Aging.