Adult daycare facilities provide a valuable service for individuals who require assistance or supervision during the day but do not require full-time residential care. These facilities offer various services, including meals, social activities, and personal care. Does Medicare cover adult day care? A common question among older adults and their families is whether Medicare covers the cost of adult day care. In this article, we will delve into the topic and explore the options available for Medicare beneficiaries seeking adult daycare services.

Understanding Adult Day Care

To begin, let’s clarify what adult day care entails. Adult day care centers are community-based facilities that offer daytime services to seniors and adults with disabilities. These centers provide a safe and supervised environment where participants can engage in various activities, receive meals, and receive assistance with daily tasks, such as medication management and personal care. The major goal is to improve people’s quality of life while also giving caretakers a break.

Medicare Coverage for Adult Day Care

Despite the importance of adult day care, Medicare’s coverage for these services is limited. Original Medicare, which consists of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), generally does not cover adult day care expenses. Medicare Part A mainly covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, and limited home health care services. Part B covers outpatient services, including doctor visits, preventive care, and some medically necessary services. However, adult day care services fall outside the scope of these traditional Medicare benefits.

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)

While Original Medicare does not cover adult day care, beneficiaries can enroll in Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Part C plans are provided by commercial insurance firms that have been granted permission by Medicare to do so. Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover all the services included in Original Medicare, and many plans also provide additional benefits that may include adult day care coverage.

Medicare Advantage plans may offer an array of supplemental benefits that can be used to cover adult day care costs. However, the availability of these benefits can vary depending on the specific plan and the state in which the beneficiary resides. Reviewing the plan details and contacting the insurance company to understand the extent of coverage provided for adult day care services is crucial.

Medicaid Coverage for Adult Day Care

For individuals who meet the eligibility criteria, Medicaid can be a valuable resource for covering adult day care costs. Medicaid is a federal-state partnership that offers medical assistance to low-income families and individuals. Medicaid is a federally funded health insurance program, but each state runs its own program, with varying benefits and eligibility conditions.

In many states, Medicaid offers Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers, which allow beneficiaries to receive care in their homes or community settings, including adult day care centers. These waivers provide financial assistance for qualifying individuals who require adult day care services.

Other Funding Sources for Adult Day Care

Apart from Medicare and Medicaid, there are other potential funding sources that individuals and families can explore to cover adult day care expenses. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Veterans Benefits: The Veterans Administration (VA) may be able to provide financial aid to veterans and their families. Adult day care services and other forms of daily help provided to veterans by the VA are covered by the Aid and Attendance benefit.
  2. Long-Term Care Insurance: Individuals who have purchased long-term care insurance policies may find that adult day care services are covered under their plans. Long-term care insurance policies vary, so reviewing the terms and conditions is important to determine if adult day care expenses are included in the coverage.
  3. Private Pay: Individuals and families can consider private pay options for adult day care services if other funding sources are unavailable. Many adult day care centers offer flexible payment plans and sliding fee scales based on income. Discussing payment options with the adult day care center’s staff is advisable to determine the most suitable arrangement.

Benefits of Adult Day Care

While securing funding for adult day care is important, it’s equally essential to recognize these facilities’ numerous benefits. Some key advantages of adult day care include:

  1. Social Interaction: Adult day care centers allow participants to engage with peers, fostering socialization and reducing feelings of isolation or loneliness.
  2. Personalized Care: Trained staff members at adult day care centers can provide personalized care and assistance with daily activities, ensuring the safety and well-being of participants.
  3. Respite for Caregivers: Family caregivers can take a break and enjoy some time off thanks to respite care provided by adult day care establishments. This allows caregivers to tend to their own needs, pursue personal activities, or continue working.
  4. Therapeutic Activities: Many adult day care centers offer a variety of therapeutic activities tailored to the needs of participants. These activities may include exercise programs, music therapy, art classes, and cognitive stimulation, enhancing overall well-being.
  5. Nutritious Meals: Adult day care centers typically provide balanced and nutritious meals, ensuring that participants receive proper nutrition throughout the day.


While Original Medicare does not typically cover adult day care expenses, Medicare beneficiaries can explore alternative options to obtain coverage. Medicare Advantage plans may offer adult day care coverage as a supplemental benefit, but the availability can vary. Additionally, Medicaid may assist with HCBS waivers for eligible individuals. It’s crucial to research and evaluate the available options and speak with insurance providers and state Medicaid agencies to understand the coverage options and eligibility criteria. It is crucial to investigate all options for acquiring coverage, as adult day care can provide much-needed support and improve the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities.


Q1. Does Medicare cover adult day care services?

A1. No, Medicare does not typically cover the costs of adult day care services.

Q2. If Medicare doesn’t cover adult day care, are there other options for coverage?

A2. While Medicare does not cover adult day care, other programs such as Medicaid or state-specific programs may offer coverage for adult day care services.

Q3. Does Medicare ever cover adult day care under exceptional circumstances?

A3. Rarely, Medicare may cover adult day care services if they are part of a specific research study or clinical trial.

Q4. Can Medicare cover medical services received at an adult day care facility?

A4. Medicare may cover certain medical services received at an adult day care facility. Still, the coverage is for the specific medical services provided and not for the overall day care program.

Q5. Are there any circumstances where Medicare Advantage plans cover adult day care?

A5. Some Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) may offer additional benefits, including adult day care services coverage. Reviewing the specific plan’s details to determine coverage eligibility is important.

Q6. Does Medicare cover transportation to and from adult day care centers?

A6. Generally, Medicare does not cover transportation costs to and from adult day care centers. However, other programs or community services may offer transportation assistance.

Q7. Are there any programs that help pay for day care services for adults?

A7. Yes, various financial assistance programs, such as the Older Americans Act, Veterans Administration programs, or state-specific programs, may assist with adult day care services.

Q8. Can long-term care insurance policies cover adult day care services?

A8. Yes, some long-term care insurance policies may include coverage for adult day care services. Reviewing the policy terms and contacting the insurance provider for specific coverage details is advisable.

Q9. What services are typically provided at adult day care centers?

A9. Adult day care centers often provide social activities, supervision, meals, assistance with activities of daily living, and sometimes limited healthcare services.

Q10. How can I learn more about coverage options for adult day care services?

A10. Contact the Medicaid office in your state, your local Area Agency on Aging, or consult with an eldercare specialist who can offer advice tailored to your unique situation to learn more about how to pay for adult day care services.