How Much Does Skilled Nursing Cost?

Skilled nursing care
Skilled nursing care has the highest average cost of all senior living options. Because help is available 24/7, a private room in 2022 costs nearly $300 a day and over $9,000 a month. Many seniors turn to Medicaid as Medicare does not pay for long-term care (past 100 days) in a nursing home.

In the United States, skilled nursing refers to medical care provided by licensed healthcare professionals in a long-term care setting, such as a skilled nursing facility or nursing home.

Skilled nursing care is typically needed by individuals unable to live independently due to a chronic illness or disability. It may include various services such as medication management, wound care, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.

Both skilled nursing facility (SNF) and a nursing home offer skilled nurisng care.

What Is The Difference Between A Skilled Nursing Facility And A Nursing Home?

In the United States, a skilled nursing facility (SNF) and a nursing home are long-term care facilities that offer round-the-clock medical supervision. They provide assistance with activities of daily living (such as bathing, dressing, and mobility) for individuals unable to perform them independently due to a chronic illness or disability and offer needed medical care too.

Helping ADLs

Though the term is often used interchangeably, the difference between and skilled nursing facility and a nursing home is that SNF specializes in short-term rehabilitation. Many facilities offer both short-term and long-term care.

Common reasons that people come to skilled nursing facilities include.

  • Stroke recovery
  • Wound care
  • Rehab after an illness or operation
  • Terminal illness
  • Serious memory issues
  • Around-the-clock care

Aside from needed custodial care, SNFs offer physical, occupational, and speech therapy to help patients recover enough functionality to return home or go to assisted living to complete their recovery. Some patients become permanent residents of a nursing home.

Both skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes are designed to provide long-term care planning for individuals unable to live independently. Still, skilled nursing facilities may offer more specialized medical care and supervision. The specific services and levels of care vary depending on the facility.

Nursing homes offer basic custodial care (such as assistance with activities of daily living) as well as more advanced medical care. This medical care can include medication management, memory care (including for Alzheimer’s), and wound care).

Assisted living communities are the next step down from nursing care.

How Much Do Most Nursing Homes Cost A Month?

Nursing home costs in the United States can vary widely depending on several factors, including location, the type of facility, and the level of care required. On average, nursing home care in the United States costs over $9,000 per month for a private room and over $7,900 per month for a shared space, according to the Genworth cost of care. However, these costs can be much higher in certain parts of the country and for certain levels of care.

Costs of long term care

Many factors can affect the cost of nursing home care, including the level of care required (such as basic custodial care, intermediate care, or skilled nursing care), the availability of Medicaid or other types of financial assistance, and the individual’s ability to pay for care out of pocket. However, there is no indication that the costs between SNF are higher than those in nursing homes based on room rates. Therapy and medical services are billed separately but do not influence room rates.

It’s important to remember that nursing home care fees can add up quickly, and exploring various options for long-term financing care may be necessary. Some options may include private insurance, Medicaid planning, or long-term care insurance.

It may also be helpful to speak with a financial planner, insurance company, or elder law attorney to determine the best options for paying for nursing home care.

How Much Does It Cost To Stay In A Skilled Nursing Facility?

Skilled nursing care tends to be the most expensive type of care for older adults, but costs vary from state to state. According to the Genworth cost of care survey database, the average cost of care in a skilled nursing facility is $297 per day.

Private rooms are more expensive, with a median national fee of $297 per day. Semi-private rooms have a median cost of $260 per day.

However, depending on where they live, families could pay as much as $1,036 per day for a private or semi-private nursing home room in Alaska or as little as $169 per day for a semi-private room in Texas.

Based on Genworth data, the average daily rates for a semi-private room in an SNF in select states are as follows:

Even states geographically close together, such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana vary widely, while California and Florida, states that are popular retirement destinations, cost thousands more. Alaska rates are more than those of nursing home care in costly New York.


Room TypeSemi-PrivatePrivateSemi-PrivatePrivateSemi-PrivatePrivate
New York$401$375$12,775$13,233$153,000$158,797

Most individuals who reside in a skilled nursing care facility won’t spend the rest of their lives there, although long-term stays are common. It’s therefore important for families to understand monthly costs, as well as daily ones. 

Like most types of senior care, nursing home care has become more expensive and is projected to climb even higher. In fact, by 2030, a semi-private room will be more costly than a private room is now, while a private room is projected to cost about $141,000.

What Is The Average Length Of Stay In A Skilled Nursing Facility Vs. A Skilled Nursing Facility for Short-term Rehab?

The average length of stay in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) can vary depending on the individual’s needs and circumstances. Some people may only need to stay in an SNF for a short period, such as for rehabilitation after a hospital stay or surgery. In contrast, others may need an extended time due to a chronic illness or disability.

On average, the length of stay in an SNF for short-term rehabilitation (such as after a hospital stay or surgery) is typically around a few weeks to a few months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the median length of stay in an SNF for individuals over 65 is around 100 days. However, this can vary significantly depending on the individual’s needs and circumstances.

Otehr factors that influence length of stay are the availability of appropriate care at home or in the community, and the availability of financial resources to pay for care.

It’s important to note that the length of stay in an SNF can be influenced by several factors, including the individual’s progress, Discussing the individual’s care needs and goals with the healthcare team is always a good idea to determine the best course of action.

Why Are Nursing Homes So Costly?

The cost of nursing home care can vary widely depending on location, with higher prices in certain parts of the country. Many factors can contribute to the high cost of nursing home care in the United States. Some of the main factors include:

  1. The cost of providing care: Nursing homes must have a certain number of staff members on hand at all times to provide care to residents, and these staff members need to be paid. Additionally, nursing homes must purchase and maintain equipment and supplies. They may also incur utility charges, property taxes, and insurance fees.
  2. The cost of complying with regulations: Nursing homes must adhere to various state and federal regulations, which can be costly to implement and maintain. These regulations may include staffing levels, training, and facility safety requirements.
  3. The cost of specialized care: Some nursing home residents may require specialized care, such as physical therapy or wound care, which can be more expensive.
  4. The cost of providing a range of services: Nursing homes may offer a wide range of services to residents, including meals, laundry, and transportation, which can add to the overall cost of care.

The cost of care may be influenced by the individual’s ability to pay for care out of pocket through private insurance or a Medicaid program.

How Do Seniors Pay For Nursing Homes?

There are several ways that seniors in the United States can pay for nursing home care, including:

  1. Private pay: Some individuals may pay for nursing home care out of pocket, either with savings or copayments with the help of a family member or other caregiver.
  2. Long-term care insurance: Some individuals may have long-term care insurance, which covers the cost of nursing home care and other types of long-term personal care.
  3. Medicare coverage: Medicare, the federal health insurance program for individuals over 65, covers certain types of short-term nursing home care, such as rehabilitation after a hospital stay. However, it generally does not cover long-term nursing home care.
  4. Medicaid: Medicaid is a joint federal and state program providing financial assistance for individuals with low income and assets. It covers a wide range of long-term care services for individuals who fulfill eligibility requirements, including nursing home care.
Seniors need long-term care

Many who enter a nursing home for short term rehabilitation may pay with Medicare, which fully covers cost for 20 days and pays 80% for another 80 days. Seniors often have supplemental coverage that reduces the out-of-pocket cost.

Aftet Medicare pays out its maximum, senior must either pay out of pocket or rely on long-term care insurance. Most who qualify turn to Medicaid, which bankrolls between 45% and 65% of the total nursing home costs in the United States.

Someone who enters a SNF for short-term care may find themselves in need of ongoing nursing home care. Unless they have other resources to cover the cost, they may apply for Medicaid to pay for their continual care.

It’s important to note that the availability and type of financial assistance for nursing home care can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances, including their income, assets, and level of care needed.

Consult a financial planner or elder law attorney to determine the best options for paying for your loved one’s nursing home care.


Adam Howarth is an experienced writer who is the current manager of a local community and business magazine in Wrexham, Tanyfron, Wales, United Kingdom. He became interested in senior living when searching for a new place for his father and loves to write on the subject to make things a little easier for people who find themselves in the same situation.

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