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Common Misconceptions: Does Medicare Cover Long Term Care in a Nursing Home?

This edition of the Koldin Report E-Newsletter begins a series on common misconceptions about Elder Law, Estate Planning and Medicaid.

In this newsletter we discuss misconceptions about Medicare. All prior newsletters are saved on our website. You can read them by clicking here.

Incorrect: Medicare covers long-term nursing home care

Correct: Medicare only covers a short-term stay in a nursing home for therapy and rehabilitation.

There are 3 ways to pay for long term custodial care in a nursing home:

  1. Private pay
  2. Long term care insurance
  3. Medicaid.

Private Pay

The cost of nursing home care in upstate New York has reached $12,000 per month. At this high cost, life savings can be depleted in a very short period of time.

Long Term Care Insurance

Long Term Care Insurance can cover the cost of nursing home care and home care, but you need to make sure you purchase enough coverage and you need to be able to afford the high premiums.

For a discussion about long term care insurance, please see our website by clicking here.


Medicaid is the only government program that will pay for custodial care in a nursing home and for long term home care. However, there are strict financial eligibility requirements before you are able to receive Medicaid coverage.

If you don’t know your legal rights, you will be told by the Medicaid Agency that you must pay privately towards the cost of nursing home care until your life savings is spent down to $14,850 (single person in 2017).

The loss of your life savings does not have to happen if you know your legal rights. If a family member is already facing a catastrophic illness, it is never too late to protect some or all of your life savings using special Medicaid rules. Assets can still be protected even while in a nursing home. Acting quickly is critical.

There are important financial protections available for the healthy spouse.

As a result of misinformation, families unnecessarily spend their life savings towards the cost of care before establishing Medicaid eligibility.

For a more detailed discussion of the Medicaid laws, please see our website by clicking here.

At the Koldin Law Center, P.C., located in East Syracuse, New York, we have over 50 years of experience helping individuals plan for immediate crisis and long term care. Our attorneys are available to discuss your estate planning options. We do not charge a fee for the initial consultation. We welcome your children, family attorney, accountant, and/or financial planner to be present at the initial consultation.

There is something you can do.

Our Attorneys Are Available To Speak To Your Organization

Our Attorneys speak to groups throughout New York State as a public service. If you would like to arrange for one of our Attorneys to speak to your group, please contact our office.

We Appreciate Your Referrals

We have been told by many clients who are in a crisis that they wish they had known about our firm much sooner. We are proud of the many families we have helped in times of crisis.

We are also proud of the many families we helped avoid financial crisis by doing estate planning in advance.

We all share the responsibility for making our family and friends aware of the planning options available to them.

Your referral to the could make a major difference in the lives of your family and friends if they are someday faced with a long term illness.

Remember that the offers many services for clients of all ages. Our services range from basic estate planning such as a simple will to complex estate planning including asset preservation planning.


E - Newsletter

Practice Areas

Basic Estate Planning

Trust Planning

Medicaid Planning And MedicaidApplications

Planning For Individuals With Disabilities

Probate And EstateAdministration