How Long Does Medicare Pay

Retirees and the elderly often wonder how long does Medicare pay for nursing home care as they plan for the future. Medicare benefits for nursing home care are only available under very limited conditions. Elderly Medicare patients looking to receive payment for skilled nursing or rehabilitation services will find that coverage time is very limited and requires fulfillment of many Medicare-specified conditions. Unfortunately, limited Medicare coverage for skilled nursing home care means that many seniors are forced to pay for their nursing home costs out of their own funding. The stress of figuring out the ins-and-outs of Medicare coverage for nursing home care can be difficult and confusing for families but there are many resources that can help seniors and their families discover the best monetary and nursing care options for their lives and health concerns.

Medicare recipients looking to receive nursing home care must meet the requirement of a qualifying hospital stay of at least three days in a hospital prior to going to a nursing home. If nursing home care is approved by Medicare, the skilled nursing services must be provided by a Medicare certified provider as well. Medicare also inserts the requirement that nursing care be limited to acute care patients. If the skilled nursing needs are short-term because the patient might recover or be rehabilitated, then they are not eligible for Medicare nursing home services. Qualified coverage can include meals, rehabilitation, skilled nursing needs, and necessary medical equipment needs until day one hundred of coverage. A 24-hour notice is required before skilled nursing home care costs become the responsibility of the patient.

To find out more about Medicare skilled nursing home care, patients can contact the Medicare Fiscal Intermediary or State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to verify eligibility and benefits. Many patients who are looking for coverage, after they find out how long does Medicare pay for these costs, have several options for coverage after Medicare stops coverage. One option for patients who are no longer eligible for Medicare is the Medicaid program. Medicaid coverage can begin after a long-term and ongoing nursing home stay is determined to be the best option for the patient.

Medigap or Medicare supplemental insurance is another option to fill in the time and coverage gap involved with skilled nursing care and Medicare’s coverage lapses. If the patient has a private long-term care insurance policy as well, that policy might also be combined with Medicare coverage to provide for longer skilled nursing home care. Other government programs may be available to help fill in the gap left by Medicare’s coverage length.

Finding the right answer to the question of how long does Medicare pay for nursing home care is a conversation and process that can include the senior requiring services, adult children, Medicare consultants, and SHIP mediators to find the best possible health and monetary solution for the patient in their short and long-term health and life needs.

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