Paying for Nursing Home Care Back »

Nursing home care is expensive. The average length of stay in a nursing home is 2.5 years. Without long-term care insurance or a large savings, many people will receive financial assistance from state government agencies.

South Dakota Cost of Care Survey 2015

Type of Service Median Rate Annual Rate
Homemaker Services
Hourly Rates
$22 $49,764
Home Health Aide Services
Hourly Rates
$23 $52,006
Adult Day Health Care
Daily Rates
$72 $18,720
Nursing Home (Semi-Private Room)
Daily Rates
$199 $72,770
Nursing Home (Private Room)
Daily Rates
$212 $77,380
Assisted Living (1 Bedroom, Single OCC)
Monthly Rates
$3,023 $36,276
Source: Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey South Dakota

Does Medicare pay for long term care?

No. Medicare is a health insurance program. A person must use personal savings or a Long-Term Care insurance policy to cover long-term care (e.g. nursing home stays). People with limited financial resources may be eligible for Medicaid assistance.

What is the general eligibility requirement for Medicaid?

Individuals in South Dakota must be low income and meet one of the following categories for Medicaid eligibility:

  • 65 or older*
  • Individuals determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration or the state of South Dakota*
  • A child under 19
  • Pregnant women
  • A very low income parent or adult caring for a child (approximately 52 percent Federal Poverty Level or $10,483 annually for a family of 3)
  • Individuals who receive a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment**
  • Medicare recipients***

* These individuals must have care needs which require assistance or supervision with activities of daily living to ensure their health or safety.
** Individuals who receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) are not automatically eligible
*** These are Medicare Savings Programs to help pay for Medicare premiums. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

If you have more specific questions, please contact the Aging and Disability Resource Connections Call Center that serves your community.

Will the state make me sell my house?

If a person intends to return to the home after the long-term care stay or a spouse or dependent relative resides in the home, the state may allow the resident to retain their homes. Please review Medicaid Can Help Couples Pay the Cost of a Spouse’s Care in a Medical Facility to learn more.

What is the Medicaid look back?

A period of five years from the date of your loved one’s application for Medicaid benefits. Any gifts or transfers made within that five year period are subject to penalty. A penalty refers to a period of time when a person will not be eligible for Medicaid benefits provided by state government.

Paying for long-term care is complicated. We recommend visiting with your attorney and insurance provider as you plan for the future.


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