Does Medicare cover assisted living?

Published by Medicare Made Clear®

Assisted living is a growing need and is increasingly popular as the American population continues to age. Assisted living facilities, also known as “senior living facilities,” are designed for adults who want or need to reside in a social environment with few personal responsibilities for meal preparation and housekeeping. Assisted living residents may have experienced a decline in their health and require some help with the activities of daily living.

So now the big question: Will Medicare cover assisted living?

What will Medicare cover if I choose an assisted living facility?

Unfortunately, Original Medicare (Parts A & B) does not generally cover assisted living. Medicare also generally doesn’t cover many other long-term care services unless medically necessary. You can see what long-term services Medicare can help with here.

If you do choose to reside in an assisted living community, Medicare won’t cover your room and board or other housing and custodial services. Medicare will continue to cover the medical and hospital services it did when you lived at home, such as doctor’s appointments, preventive screenings, surgeries, and medical equipment. It likely will also continue to cover any approved prescription drugs you need if you have a Part D or Medicare Advantage plan. Your Medicare Advantage plan will also continue to cover any additional services it specifically offers, such as vision or dental.

Medicare coverage is available for hospice and qualified long-term care services

If you have a terminal illness and are not expected to live more than six months — and are no longer seeking a cure — Medicare may also cover some or all of the costs associated with hospice care. Learn more about Medicare coverage for hospice care here.

If you meet certain conditions, Medicare may cover some long-term care services. Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other state programs may also offer coverage. Learn more about getting coverage for long-term care here.

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