How Do I Find a Long-Term Care Facility?

Victoria Burke by Victoria Burke | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 10/06/2018

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At some point in your life, you might need long-term care – or you might have to find a long-term care facility for your parent, spouse, or other loved one. You’ll want to make sure the facility provides the best possible care. Read about how to find a long-term care facility.

What is a long-term care facility?

When people say “long-term care facility,” different people might have different types of facilities in mind. Here are some examples of long-term care providers.

  • Long-term care hospital – Medicare describes this as a hospital that typically provides care to people who need care for more than 25 days. Patients usually have more than one serious health condition, but are generally expected to be able to return home eventually. Medicare may cover care in a long-term care hospital, but deductible and coinsurance amounts generally apply.
  • Nursing home – According to the National Library of Medicine, a nursing home is a facility for people who can’t be cared for at home, but don’t need to be in hospitals. Medicare notes that much of the care given in a nursing home is “custodial” – services such as bathing and dressing that don’t require skilled nursing care.
  • Assisted living facility – According to the Administration on Aging, this type of facility can provide a variety of help to its residents, like custodial care and dispensing medications. Some assisted living homes may provide some medical care, but generally, if you need more than a certain level of care, you’d need to be in a nursing home.

Medicare doesn’t generally cover long-term care in a nursing home.

Can a Medicare Supplement insurance plan help pay for a long-term care facility?

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance may help pay for certain Medicare Part A and Part B out-of-pocket costs. Some plans may cover skilled nursing facility care coinsurance. However, Medicare Supplement insurance plans generally don’t cover long-term care in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Learn more about Medicare Supplement insurance.

How can I find a good long-term care hospital?

You’ll typically need to go to a long-term care hospital that participates in Medicare to get as much Medicare coverage as possible. If a hospital participates in Medicare, it must meet certain standards. However, if you want more detailed information about long-term care hospitals, click here.

How can I find a good nursing home for long-term care?

It can be stressful, placing a loved one in a nursing home for long-term care. For some people, it will be their last home.

You might be reassured to know that Medicare inspects and rates certain nursing homes. Medicare uses data from health inspections, along with other criteria, to assign “star ratings” to nursing homes listed on its Nursing Home Compare site. Medicare considers staffing levels, health violations, and other factors to figure these star ratings. Click here to compare Medicare-rated nursing homes.

How can I find a good assisted living facility for long-term care?

Medicare doesn’t generally inspect or rate assisted living facilities. However, you can read this caregiver’s guide for information on how to “rate” these long-term care facilities yourself by visiting and asking questions.

Where can I go for more information about long-term care facilities?

The Administration on Aging’s website has a wealth of information about long-term care facilities, and you can enter your zip code to find local facilities.

I’d be glad to help you if you have questions about Medicare plan options. You can schedule a phone call with me at your convenience, or have me send you customized information by email – just follow the links below. You can also click the Find Plans or Compare Plans buttons on this page and enter your zip code to display a list of plans in your area.

The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these Medicare.com Web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

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