According to Medicare.gov, there are 86 nursing homes to choose from in San Diego County. There may be more that are not included in this number. This is because they are not “Medicare certified.” If a nursing home is not “Medicare certified,” they may not participate in Medicare or Medicaid. But they can be licensed by the state. This is an important difference. If your stay continues beyond a month or two, your nest egg can quickly be depleted. This makes Medi-Cal, California’s form of Medicaid, an important option for paying the bill. But keep in mind, it’s very difficult to place a patient in a facility after he or she is on Medi-Cal. If you want to have a pick of the Medicare “five-star rated” facilities, you’ll want to private pay for the first few months.
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform also provides a detailed guide to choosing the right facility. Here’s my article written on the topic for the largest regional newspaper in San Diego County: What to Do When your Spouse Needs a Nursing Home. And remember, no one has to go broke to get into a good facility. And more importantly, no one has to go broke to qualify for Medi-Cal. If a nursing home stay may be in your future you are going to want to review the various Medi-Cal concepts and techniques.