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Nursing Homes in Louisiana

Set in the deep South on the Gulf of Mexico, the state of Louisiana is home to more than 4.6 million people, of whom 16.5% are seniors aged 65 and older. With its rich history and cultural diversity, the state provides a welcoming environment where seniors can enjoy a vibrant retirement experience. Seniors have access to world-class medical facilities, including the nationally recognized Ochsner Medical Center.

As seniors age, their health needs often become more complex, which results in them needing some degree of daily support and assistance. Nursing homes are a suitable long-term care option for seniors who require 24-hour supervision, skilled nursing and rehabilitative services. They offer a secure environment with round-the-clock staff who offer personalized care and attention, along with daily meals, housekeeping and recreational programming. In Louisiana, there are 268 nursing facilities that provide a welcoming home for more than 22,000 seniors each year.

This guide provides information about nursing homes in Louisiana, including different ways that individuals can pay for nursing homes, resources that offer financial support and an overview of nursing facility laws and regulations.

Popular Cities in Louisiana

New Orleans

Cost of Louisiana Nursing Homes

The average cost of nursing homes in Louisiana is $155 per day. This is higher than the national average which is $228 per day.


Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Nursing Home Care in Louisiana?

Through the Louisiana Options in Long-Term Care program, Medicaid recipients aged 65 and older may be eligible for financial assistance to help cover the cost of nursing home stays. The Louisiana Medicaid Program operates within the Louisiana Department of Health, and there are currently over 1,892,000 individuals enrolled in the state's Medicaid program. While the state Medicaid program does not cover the entire cost of nursing care, it pays for the difference between an individual's gross monthly income and the nursing facility's fee.

Eligibility for long-term assistance is based on whether an individual meets the state's established financial requirements and the medical standards for admission to a nursing facility as determined by the Office of Aging and Adult Services (OAAS). Eligible seniors can receive financial assistance to help cover room and board as well as daily personal care, such as grooming, bathing, incontinence and mealtime assistance. The program may also cover physician services, medical equipment, prescription medications and rehabilitative therapies.

Additionally, the state offers a Community Choices Waiver program. This waiver can provide case management, personal assistance and nursing services for individuals who require a nursing home level of care but would prefer to receive their care at home or in a community-based setting. It also provides transition services and support coordination for individuals moving from nursing homes to other living environments.

Medicaid Eligibility in Louisiana

To qualify for Medicaid, applicants must meet a series of requirements, both in terms of their personal finances and their care needs. Individuals must require a nursing home level of care, including at least limited assistance with at least one activity of daily living. Financially, individual applicants must generate no more than $2,742 per month in personal income and have no more than $2,000 in assets. These numbers also apply to married applicants if only one spouse is applying. In these cases, the nonapplicant is permitted to have $148,620 in assets as outlined in the Spousal Impoverishment Act. Married couples who are both applying may have a combined income of no more than $5,484 per month and a maximum of $3,000 in assets.

Individuals whose income exceeds these limits may still be eligible for Medicaid based on the state's income spend-down policy. Seniors may spend a portion of their monthly income on medical expenses and nursing home fees so that their income falls within Medicaid's financial limitations.

Income Limits*Asset Limits
Single Applicant$32,904$2,000
Married Applicants
(Only One Spouse Applying)
$32,904 for applicant$2,000 for applicant
$148,620 for nonapplicant
Married Applicants
(Both Spouses Applying)

* Per year

Successful applicants must be residents of Louisiana who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or legal aliens.

How to Apply for Medicaid in Louisiana

Applying for Medicaid in Louisiana can be done online, over the phone or in person at a Medicaid office. To apply online, individuals can use the Louisiana Medicaid Self-Service Portal (SSP), which allows them to create an account to easily apply for benefits, monitor their status and renew their coverage. To apply over the phone, individuals can call Medicaid's toll-free customer service hotline at (888) 342-6207. In-person applications can be completed at one of the Medicaid Application Centers located in the senior's parish.

For questions about the program or assistance with applications, individuals can call the customer service hotline. Prior to their application, individuals should ensure that they have the necessary documentation ready.

What Information You Will Need

  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Social Security number
  • Copy of permanent resident card, if applicable
  • Information on any other current health insurance policies
  • Proof of income from jobs
  • Proof of any other income (pensions, Social Security, veteran's benefits, SSI, etc.)
  • Proof of assets, including real estate, bonds, stocks and trusts
  • Car registration and insurance
  • Information about current mortgages and loans
  • Life insurance and burial contracts
  • VA discharge papers (DD214), if applicant is a veteran

Additional Medicaid Support & Resources in Louisiana

The following resources can help seniors and their families navigate Medicaid by providing information and direct services, such as counseling, benefits checkups and referrals.

Louisiana Long-Term Care Services(877) 456-1146Louisiana Long-Term Care Services helps seniors and families understand the long-term care Medicaid benefits that they're eligible for. This includes services offered in both institutional and community-based settings. Individuals can use this agency to apply for a preadmission certification for nursing facilities.
Louisiana Answers(225) 342-7100Louisiana Answers serves as the state's Aging & Disability Resource Center. Through this organization, seniors can access programs and resources to help them navigate their long-term care needs, including locating nursing home facilities, Medicaid counseling and in-home support services.
Louisiana SenioRX(225) 342-7100Louisiana Answers serves as the state's Aging & Disability Resource Center. Through this organization, seniors can access programs and resources to help them navigate their long-term care needs, including locating nursing home facilities, Medicaid counseling and in-home support services.
Louisiana SenioRX(225) 342-7100The Louisiana SenioRx Program helps seniors access pharmaceutical aid programs to help cover the cost of their prescription medications. It can also provide information on how to contact government programs. is the official website for government benefits in the United States. Seniors can use the site's SSA Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool to determine if they qualify for financial aid and health benefits, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Medicaid Planning AssistanceOnline onlyMedicaid Planning Assistance is a free service provided by the American Council on Aging. Seniors can use this tool to determine the benefits that they're eligible for and to better understand the HCBS waivers available in their state. The service can also connect individuals with Medicaid planning assistance options, including case managers, elder law attorneys and financial planners.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Nursing Home Care in Louisiana?

Medicare provides limited coverage for short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, but seniors must meet a number of specific requirements. This benefit is available to beneficiaries who have been hospitalized for at least three days, excluding the date of discharge, so it's most valuable for those who are recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery.

Once seniors meet the hospitalization requirement, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of skilled nursing per benefit period. The first 20 days are covered in full. Starting on day 21, beneficiaries must pay a daily coinsurance rate. After day 100, seniors are responsible for the entire cost.

What Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare covers several specific services, including:

  • Meals
  • A semiprivate room
  • Medications
  • Skilled nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Audiologist care
  • Medical supplies
  • Medical social services
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Ambulance transportation

What Isn't Covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care that addresses seniors' day-to-day needs. This includes help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and using medical equipment.

For more information about Medicare and when it covers Nursing Home Care, read our Guide to Nursing Homes.

Medicare Support and Resources in Louisiana

While long-term care costs aren't fully covered by Medicare, there are several programs in Louisiana that can help seniors access financial support and navigate their care options.

Louisiana Office of Aging & Adult Services(866) 758-5035A division of the Louisiana Department of Health, the Office of Aging & Adult Services (OAAS) provides assistance for seniors in need of long-term care. The office can help individuals understand their options, locate health benefits providers and access adult protective services. The OAAS also handles admission requests for nursing homes and conducts assessments to determine seniors' care needs.
Louisiana Governor's Office of Elder Affairs(225) 342-7100The Louisiana Governor's Office of Elder Affairs works in conjunction with the state's network of Area Agencies on Aging to provide a range of home- and community-based support services. These include elder protective services, the state ombudsman program and nutrition services. It also offers a resource library where individuals can locate organizations offering benefits checkups, legal assistance and Medicare counseling. serves as a helpful starting point for seniors and families looking to enroll in Medicare. Individuals can use the site to learn about the basics of Medicare, what it covers, the different plans that are available and what their rights are. For more information or help applying for Medicare benefits, seniors can call the organization's 24/7 helpline. They can also apply for coverage through the website.
Social Security Administration(800) 772-1213The Social Security Administration administers government health benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to individuals aged 65 and older. It also helps elderly individuals plan for and enroll in Medicare. Seniors can sign up for Medicare online through the organization's website or call the SSA for assistance. After applying, seniors can visit the website to track the status of their application.
Medicare Rights Center(800) 333-4114The Medicare Rights Center is a nationwide nonprofit that helps individuals navigate the Medicare system, understand their rights and access quality health care services in their communities. This is achieved through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives. The organization operates a free helpline that provides step-by-step assistance through the application process, including selecting the right policy, coordinating Medicare with other insurance and appealing denials.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Nursing Home Care in Louisiana

While Medicaid and Medicare are two of the most common programs used to pay for Nursing Home Care, there are other financial assistance options available, depending on your unique situation.

How to ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceLearn more and apply online at who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for skilled nursing care.
Reverse MortgagesLearn more about your options and how to apply at you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for nursing care. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. This type of funding can be especially useful for married couples when only one partner needs nursing care, as the other residents of the home may continue living there. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
Long-Term Care (LTC) InsuranceLearn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at who already have long-term care insurance may be covered for skilled nursing care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost of nursing home care, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of skilled nursing care will not be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Louisiana

Licensing RequirementsThe Louisiana Department of Health, Health Standards Section is responsible for licensing all nursing homes across the state. A facility may be issued a full or provisional license depending on whether it is found to be compliant with all laws or regulations.
Staffing RequirementsNursing homes must have a licensed director of nursing (DON) and sufficient, qualified staff to provide a minimum of 2.35 hours of care per patient per day. Staff must be available 24/7 and may include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, medication attendants and certified nursing aides.
Staff Training RequirementsAll new employees must attend an orientation program and subsequent staff development programs. Training must include problems common to the needs of residents, discharge planning, infection control and privacy protection. Nursing assistants must complete a minimum of 12 hours of training per year.
Admission RestrictionsAn individual may be denied admission to a nursing facility should their needs be adequately met through a less intensive care option or if they experience behavioral issues that the facility is not equipped to care for. Facilities may also restrict admission based on financial eligibility and capacity.
Care Planning RequirementsAn initial assessment of a resident's needs must be completed within 14 days of admission. Within seven days of this assessment, an individual care plan is developed. Care plans may be revised at any time and must be reviewed at least annually.
Dietary and Nutritional Services RequirementsNursing homes are required to serve at least three daily meals and additional bedtime snacks. All menus must be planned, approved, signed and dated by a licensed dietitian to ensure they are nutritious and accommodate residents' cultural backgrounds, food habits and personal preferences.
Specialized Rehabilitative ServicesA nursing facility may offer specialized rehabilitative services under the written order of a resident's attending physician. Services are to be specified in residents' individual care plans and may include physical therapy, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy and mental health rehabilitative services.
Medication and Pharmaceutical ServicesMedications must be administered by a licensed physician, licensed nurse or the resident themselves, as outlined in each comprehensive personal care plan. All dosages must be prepared, administered and recorded by the same individual for consistency and accuracy.
Activities RequirementsFacilities must provide an ongoing program of meaningful activities to support seniors' physical, mental and psychosocial well-being. Activities should be diverse, encourage voluntary participation and cater to residents' individual needs and interests.
Infection Control RequirementsEach nursing home must have an infection control committee consisting of the medical director and representatives from administration, nursing, dietary and housekeeping. The committee establishes policies and procedures for investigating, controlling and preventing infections and monitors staff compliance.
Medicaid CoverageThrough the Louisiana Options in Long Term Care program, the state will pay for a portion of seniors' nursing home fees, covering the difference between an individual's gross monthly income and the nursing facility's fee.

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