Thursday, November 1, 2012

How Long of a Stay Does Medicare Cover In a Skilled Nursing Facility?

Many elderly individuals rely upon Medicare to assist in paying for their healthcare costs. As such, it is important for seniors and their families to understand the role that Medicare plays in a stay at a skilled nursing facility, or nursing home. James, from Durham, North Carolina, recently assisted his mother in arranging her short-term stay at such a community. As such, his insight may help you in planning for your elderly loved one's tenure at a nursing home with the benefits of Medicare coverage.
Why a Short-Term Stay?

Oftentimes, people assume that seniors who move into nursing homes do so permanently. This is, however, not the case. Many elderly individuals stay in nursing facilities after an operation or similar medical complication in order to benefit from the services of around the clock healthcare professionals. As such, they can rest and recover with the assistance of skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced individuals.
James' mother's stay at a nearby nursing home is a great example of this situation. She fell and suffered a broken hip. To recover as successfully as possible, she opted to move into an assisted living facility for two months to ensure that the break healed properly.

How Much Does Medicare Cover?
The amount of the medical expenses incurred during a short-term stay at a nursing facility really depends upon the number of days that an individual lives at the community. According to[1], the Original Medicare Plan will cover 100 percent of the expenses accumulated if the stay lasts for 20 or fewer days. For stays lasting 21 to 100 days, Medicare covers everything except a daily copayment. It is important to note that Medicare does not contribute to the expenses that are associated with a stay of over 100 days.

What Is a Copayment?
The copayment of a Medicare plan is similar to that of a regular insurance policy; however, it can change from year to year. James encourages you to call to find out the exact copayment that your family will be responsible for when arranging for your loved one's stay.

Medicare is an important resource for many families. By understanding the benefits it provides, you can optimize your loved one's budget.


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