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En español | Generally, Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community or in various types of facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Most long-term care is considered to be "custodial care." Custodial care is unskilled, personal care, such as help with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, eating, getting in or out of bed or chair, moving around, and using the bathroom. It may also include care that most people do for themselves. Medicare does not pay for custodial care.

Medicare pays only for medically necessary skilled nursing facility (SNF) care. Generally, skilled care is available only for a short time after a minimum three-day inpatient hospitalization. Skilled care is health care given when you need skilled nursing or rehabilitation staff to deliver, manage and evaluate your care. Examples of skilled care are changing sterile dressings and physical therapy.

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