Medicare Payments for Nursing Home Care 19. February 2011 0 Senior Caregiving, Caregiving Issues (1) Medicare benefits, for seniors who are 65 or older, only pay for short-term nursing home stays upon approval by a medical doctor that the nursing home care is required for recovery from a major medical condition. Benefits pay for care for the first 20 days and a portion of care up to 100 days. Medicare usually will approve nursing home stays after a hospital stay. Seniors who have a very low-income and nearly no assets (usually $2,000 or less) will qualify for Medicaid which does pay for long-term care in a nursing home which accepts Medicaid payments. Their is a provision to prevent spousal poverty which allows a spouse to keep the home and some assets while the other spouse may run out of private funds and go onto Medicaid to pay for the nursing home care. Learn about the actual daily prices of nursing homes nationwide and acceptance of Medicare or Medicaid benefits in Caregiverlist's exclusive nursing home costs and ratings directory.