Begin your search by asking the doctors, nurses, or other health professionals who care for your loved one. Costs vary widely, but in Massachusetts it’s currently about $100,000 a year and climbing. Traditional health insurance and medicare do not pay for nursing home care, so the price tag poses a challenge. Only about five percent of the population buys long-term care insurance, which covers the cost of extended care. A third of nursing home residents pay from their own pockets, and these folks typically exhaust their finances in about six months. At that point, medicaid, the federal and state health insurance program for people with low incomes, assumes the cost of nursing home care. Remember, planning for these expenses now can help ensure a more comfortable future.