Nursing Homes and Other Long-Term Care Facilities
updated December 17, 2014

Long-term care facilities are places where people who need 24-hour skilled nursing can stay. To move into a long-term care facility (also known as “being admitted”), you must go through a pre-admission screening to make sure you need this level of care.

What They Are

Long-term care facilities offer a full set of services, including skilled nursing, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and personal care assistance, such as help with bathing, dressing, and toileting.

There are three types of long-term care facilities:

  • Nursing homes:
    • Many look more like hospitals than like apartments. Some people live in nursing homes for extended stays, while others go to nursing homes after they leave the hospital to do rehabilitation, so they can go back to their own homes.
  • Boarding Care Homes:
    • Provide similar services to nursing homes, but tend to be smaller settings with fewer residents.
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICF/DD):
    • Provide the same services as nursing homes, but have additional services for people with developmental disabilities. ICF-DDs may look like an apartment or a group home.

Some people who live in long-term care facilities may be able to live in the community by getting similar services in their own homes or apartments.

Long-term care facilities are licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Most are also certified to accept Medical Assistance (MA) as payment.

How You Pay

You pay a monthly amount that includes your room, board, and services. In Minnesota, the average nursing home costs more than $6,000 per month. Many people pay with money they have in savings or income.

You may be able to get help paying for a long-term care facility:

  • If you are on Medicare and were hospitalized for three or more days and need to stay in a long-term care facility during rehabilitation, Medicare may pay for your first 100 days. After that, Medicare will not pay for nursing home care.
  • If you have a long-term care insurance policy, it may pay for some or all of your expenses. You may have purchased an individual policy or may have a group policy as a job benefit or retirement benefit.
  • If you have very low income and assets, MA will pay for your care if you need it and are at a certified facility.
    • Many people initially spend their own money for long-term care until they are under MA’s asset limit, at which point MA begins to pay for their care. You may have to pay a monthly spenddown before MA will begin to pay for your care, depending on your income.

Get Help

To learn more about long-term care facilities and if there are any programs that can help you afford long-term care, contact:

  • The Disability Linkage Line® (DLL) at 1-866-333-2466
  • The Senior LinkAge Line® (SLL) at 1-800-333-2433

If you live in a long-term care facility and have any problems, contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services’s Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care at 1-800-657-3591.

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When you think about moving to a long-term care facility:

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