How to pay for a skilled nursing stay

3:31 PM, Apr 26, 2019

Do you have a loved one whose health is declining? Or are you starting to feel the effects of age and have some plans for surgery on the horizon? If so, there may be a long road of recovery ahead for you and your family.

Whether for yourself or a loved one, it isn’t too soon to start thinking about long term care options. Of course, the thought of paying for nursing assistance may be overwhelming – and you’re not alone. As life expectancy increases, the need for long term assistance will increase, too. In fact, more than half of people who turn 65 today will develop a severe disability and need long-term services and medical care at some point, according to AARP.

Here are a few ways you can pay for a stay in a skilled nursing facility.


Most people use Medicare Part A, which usually requires a three midnight stay in a hospital. This also covers all of the first 20 days in a skilled nursing facility. However, on day 21, Medicare requires a co-payment of $170.50.


You can apply for Medicaid to cover the co-payment if you are low income. If you qualify, you will be allowed to keep some property – your house, a car, some cash – but a portion of your income will be funneled into paying for your stay.

Medicare Advantage

A Medicare Advantage Plan is an insurance plan that has contracted with Medicare to provide and manage their members benefits. In order to access your benefits you must use their network of providers. These plans often provide value added benefits such as transportation, gym visits or lower deductibles. All inpatient stays require authorizations and these plans do not provide benefits for custodial care.

Private insurance

When you transfer from a hospital to an inpatient rehab facility, things get tricky with the billing. Depending on your insurance, you may have co-payments on the first day of your rehab stay. Many people choose to purchase long term care insurance beforehand, but it can get expensive. Long term insurance will pay a per diem for custodial care.

No insurance

What do you do if the coverage runs out and you’re not well enough to leave the facility?

Long story short: You will most likely be financially responsible for the entire recuperative stay. Before you do that, though, speak to an elder care attorney in your area because some of these money transfers count as income and can make you ineligible for certain benefits.

Needless to say, the financial aspects of paying for long term care add stress to an already difficult situation, especially if you or your loved one were thrown into a health crisis without warning. You don’t want to avoid thinking about it until the last minute, then be left scrambling to figure out your finances.

Solaris Healthcare has experienced teams of people to help you through the process. Its advisors, therapy teams and doctors will work to develop an individualized plan of care to help you achieve your highest level of independence. Stop in to see why Solaris is your first choice for rehab.

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