This an old post but I keep getting emails saying that a new answer has been posted but I can't find any. Each time I get the message that there is an update I re-read my post and find it to be not as clear as I intended.
I think that I meant to say that MEDICARE does not pay for nursing home care (except for a relatively short period for rehabilitation between hospital release and being able to go home and be on your own). When it becomes clear that the patient will not be able to go home or when their time limit (a few months maybe) is reached (whichever comes first), MEDICARE stops paying.
MEDICAID does pay for nursing home care (varies by state) but only after the person has "spent down" their assets. One state I lived in specified that you could have no more than $ 2,500 worth of assets (some holdings are not included like pre-paid funeral expenses, dwellings under certain conditions, etc, but any assets given away within the past five years more or less establish a deductible that must be paid by the person seeking to go into anursing home, before MEDICAID starts paying for anything). So if you gave away $ 100,000 within the past 5 years and nursing home costs are $ 5,000 per month, you would have to pay for the first 20 months of nursing home care yourself.
Since these earlier discussions here took place, the Feds have given a pretty clear hint of how much they are willing to become more involved in nursing home care, when they dropped all efforts to make the CLASS act work.
I am not an attorney but anyone who has serious issues relating to nursing home care should hire an attorney who is experienced in MEDICAID regulations. There are many loopholes and relatively minor decisions can have great financial impact--and it has been reported that nursing home staff sometimes does not give advice in the best interest of the patient but rather in the best interest of the nursing home.