Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home Medicaid Process–What is the Difference?

Posted on February 25, 2014 by Guest Contributor under Uncategorized
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medicaidWe are pleased to introduce a handful of guest blogs from the attorney authors of the Estate Planning and Asset Protection Blog of AlerStallings Law Firm. We are excited to be able to share some of their insight with our readers. Please find links below to other guest blog articles from AlerStallings authors. You can also read the blog, here.

As many as 70 percent of people age 65 and older will need some form of a long-term care at some point in their lives.  With the costs of long-term care constantly increasing, it is important to understand some of the major differences between Assisted Living Waiver Medicaid and Nursing Home Medicaid.  This table highlights some of those important differences:

Difference Assisted Living Waiver Nursing Home Medicaid
Start Date of Coverage Approval Date Application Date
Medicaid Beds Limited (0-3) Unlimited
Area Agency on Aging Approval Required Approval Not Required


These are just a few of the major differences between Nursing Home Medicaid and Assisted Living Medicaid. It is also crucial to ask right questions like how many Medicaid beds the assisted living facility has available? If none are available, how long is the wait list? Or how long must a patient privately pay before being allowed to apply for Medicaid? By having all the necessary information and consulting an Elder Law attorney, you can avoid the unpleasant surprises that arise by choosing the wrong long-term care facility for a loved one.

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