Utilizing Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicaid Waiver to Pay for Assisted Living

Being able to put your loved one in an assisted living facility may seem out of reach financially, but there are multiple ways you can utilize government assistance to get the financial support you need to find a comfortable, safe, and professional home for your loved one.

There are three main categories of financial assistance that cover medical expenses for aging people: Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicaid waivers. Here are the basic differences between each of these health insurance coverage providers:


  • Most commonly covers: Hospitalization, in-home doctor or physician, at-home health, medication
  • Eligibility requirements: No age requirement, but a financial qualifier is necessary for Medicaid coverage; available for low-income individuals & families


  • Most commonly covers: Nursing home care on a short-term basis (up to 100 days)
  • Eligibility requirements: Americans 65 or older, optional health insurance you must opt into, think of as private insurance that’s supplemental coverage for primary care

Medicaid waiver

  • Most commonly covers: Assisted living outside of the home long-term, housing
  • Eligibility requirements: Must also qualify for Medicaid, some waiting lists apply

For example, if your loved one is a diabetic over the age of 65, Medicaid could cover their insulin and other medication, Medicare could cover primary care visits that go beyond the coverage of Medicaid, and a Medicaid waiver could cover the room & board to stay at The Waterford, where our highly trained staff can monitor and support their specific needs.

The Waterford is one of the very few assisted living communities in Nebraska who do not require two years of private pay prior to accepting Medicaid Waiver. While your loved one doesn’t have to qualify for Medicaid Waiver to receive care at the Waterford, this is a great option to help cover the costs of assisted living.

Your loved one can be enrolled in one, two or all of these health care programs. If they’re not already enrolled in these programs, or you’re unsure if they’re eligible, working with your local Aging Partners chapter is a great starting point. This free service will walk you through each program more in-depth and help you look at your finances to see what you will qualify for.

You can find our local Aging Partners office in downtown Lincoln at 1005 O Street. For more contact information, please visit here.

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external view of the Waterford at Williamsburg in Lincoln, NE