Does Medicare cover assisted living for dementia?

Medicare does not cover assisted living for dementia or Alzheimer's patients. We recommend planning ahead for long-term care costs by choosing a life insurance policy with benefits that can be cashed out to pay for Alzheimer's care. Enter your ZIP code below to start comparing life insurance plans from local providers near you.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jan 15, 2021

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What You Need to Know

  • Medicare does NOT cover assisted living for dementia.
  • Medicare doesn’t provide any long-term in-home or nursing home care unless you qualify for a low-income program.
  • Medicare will cover hospice care for dementia patients.
  • You can still pay for assisted living for dementia with VA benefits, your life insurance policy, or through Medicaid.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is a Medicare beneficiary, it’s important to know what your Medicare plan covers.

Medicare does not cover assisted living for dementia. There is not a Medicare plan available that covers any long-term in-home healthcare or nursing home care of any kind unless patients have an income low enough to qualify for their program.

We recommend planning ahead for any potential long-term care costs that could be in your future. The best health insurance for seniors will offer long-term care add-ons that cover some or all of the future costs of memory care, assisted living, nursing home care, and more.

Buying health insurance with Medicare supplement coverage may be in your best interest. Without it, you may be paying out-of-pocket for long-term assisted living.

If you need help finding the right health insurance plan to cover assisted living for dementia, enter your ZIP code above to start comparing insurance quotes from local companies for free.

Does Medicare cover assisted living for Alzheimer’s?

Although Medicare does not cover assisted living for Alzheimer’s or dementia, Medicare benefits do apply to some treatment programs.

For example, Medicare covers hospice care for dementia patients. Most Medicare plans will provide hospice care at home, at a nursing home or assisted living facility, or at the hospital based on the doctor’s recommendation.

Does Medicare at least cover memory care assisted living?

Unfortunately no, Medicare benefits do not cover memory care assisted living. However, some Medicare plans provide some coverage for prescription drugs, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice care.

Medicare supplement plans are also available to alleviate prescription drug costs and doctor’s fees.

What does Medicare cover for dementia?

Medicare will cover up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility for Alzheimer’s patients who were transferred from the hospital for physical or speech therapy, but long-term memory care for dementia patients is not covered.

Depending on your Medicare plan, “medically necessary costs” such as treatment for injuries from falls and minor accidents, doctor’s fees, and other in-patient hospital care may be covered. And in certain circumstances, if a patient qualifies, Medicare will cover up to 35 hours per week of in-home care.

Medicare will also cover a portion of your Alzheimer’s prescriptions, and you can choose to purchase Medicare Supplemental Insurance to cover any remaining prescription costs.

Medicare benefits are limited, and you may have to speak with a Medicare insurance agent about how and if you qualify. Enter your ZIP code below to get multiple quotes.

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How do I pay for Alzheimer’s care?

While Medicare may pay for some auxiliary care, memory care assisted living is not covered. Take advantage of what your Medicare plan does cover, and consider the following other ways to pay for Alzheimer’s care:

  • Medicaid: Although Medicaid doesn’t outright cover long-term assisted living, states can use home and community-based services to get the Alzheimer’s patients in their communities the care they need. The availability of these waivers varies by state.
  • VA Benefits: The Aid & Assistance benefits for veterans and their spouses will cover long-term care, including memory care.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the type of life insurance policy you have, you may be able to cash out some benefits to pay for Alzheimer’s care. Use our free tool below to connect with a life insurance agent near you and discuss your options.

Finding the right insurance plan to pay for Alzheimer’s care shouldn’t be stressful. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool below to get started comparing your insurance options. You can shop around with local providers to find the right plan at the right price for you.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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