Long-Term Care

WebMD Medical Reference

Long-term care refers to social, medical and personal services for people who need help for a long time due to old age or disability. Medicare covers medical needs, but does not pay for social and personal services such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Moving around
  • Using the bathroom

What Medicare Covers

Skilled Nursing Facility Care

  • Medicare helps to pay for your recovery in a skilled nursing facility after a three-day hospital stay. For more details on what this includes and what it costs, see What Does Medicare Cover?
  • Medicare will cover the cost of skilled nursing care for a maximum of 100 days. As soon as you no longer need daily skilled nursing care, Medicare stops paying.

Home Health Care

  • If you are home bound and your doctor says you need short-term skilled care, Medicare will pay for nurses and therapists to provide services in your home.

To learn more about what home health care benefits include, see What Does Medicare Cover?

The aim of home health care is for you to recover from an illness or injury. Home health aide services and skilled nursing care must be given on a part-time or intermittent basis. To qualify, you must need care

  • On fewer than seven days in a week, or
  • For less than eight hours a day