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Who Pays for Short-Term Care?

short-term-care-concord-nhAlthough most families know that at some point their parents may need access to assisted senior care, most aren’t prepared for the day when their parents need short-term care. Planning ahead for these situations is important for every family to ensure you have the financial resources available to pay for senior care if it becomes necessary. But the reality of the matter is, most people don’t think to start saving until it is too late. What can you do to help pay for proper short-term care for your family members when they need it most?

Paying for Short-Term Senior Care

If you are considering senior living options outside of the home, the first thing you may think about is, “How can we pay for this?” While most people believe Medicare will pay for most – if not all – of the costs associated with senior care, it is important to get all of the facts before making a final decision.

What Does Medicare Pay For?

Medicare may be useful to help pay for medical costs as your family member recovers from an illness or injury. However, Medicare doesn’t pay for home care or senior living. If you are in the early planning stages for more long-term senior care, this information may come as a surprise to your family. Luckily, there are several different types of care that Medicare will pay for, including:

  • Short-Term Rehabilitation – Medicare will cover the cost of short-term rehabilitation care in a rehab center or skilled nursing care facility if your family member meets several required conditions. Typically, if your senior family member qualifies, Medicare will work to cover the first 100 days of rehabilitation. If seniors meet the requirements for short-term care, Medicare will then pay for the first 20 days in full, with the remaining 21-100 qualifying under a co-pay agreement.
  • Home Health Care – Skilled home health care services through a Medicare-certified agency may be paid for by Medicare if your loved one requires treatment after an injury, illness or surgery. If your family member qualifies for this coverage they can enjoy skilled nursing care, occupational and physical therapy and/or speech therapy in the comfort of their own home. Whether seniors live in their own private residence or in a continuing care retirement community, Medicare will pay for limited care.

Medicare will not pay to cover the cost of room and board. Any “custodial” care that includes personal care, medication reminders or other daily living assistance is not covered by Medicare.

Other Short-Term Care Options


Medicaid is a federal program that may help to pay to cover the costs of assisted living care or home-based services for seniors. Managed at the state level, Medicaid may also provide additional support depending on your family’s needs.

Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit

Veterans who are in need of certain medical or health care services may qualify for additional financial support outside of their normal pension amount. This type of care may work to pay for short-term care and more long-term assistance including adult day services, assisted living, nursing home care and more.

Making the Right Decision for Your Loved Ones

If any of these programs are not an option for your family, there may be other financial support alternatives available to you. Speaking with a financial professional or elder law lawyer may help your family better understand the options that are available to you. At Havenwood Heritage Heights, we want to help make sure that our residents have every opportunity to receive the medical and healthcare services that they need. For more information about our continuing care retirement community in Concord, New Hampshire or to schedule a tour, be sure to visit us online today!

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