It is a common assumption that Medicare will help pay for long-term care. Many people have worked towards retirement assuming that should they need long-term care at some point in the future, they could count on Medicare to help pay the bill. Medicare is health insurance for people over the age of 65, long-term care is a type of medical care that many people may need at some point in their lives. Generally, however, Medicare does not pay for long-term care.1
Although Medicare does provide health coverage for senior citizens, it provides limited long-term care coverage. In some limited situations, Medicare will pay some of the costs of Medicare beneficiaries who require skilled nursing or rehabilitative services. In order to receive these payments, the Medicare beneficiary must receive services from a Medicare certified nursing home after a qualifying hospital stay.2 Only about 17.8% of all long-term care costs came through Medicare in 1998.3
While Medicare helps to provide nursing facility care for up to 100 days, Medicare does not pay for care that does not require professional medical skills or training and a patient must be admitted into a nursing facility that accepts Medicare coverage within 30 days of a three-day hospital stay.
For more information on Medicare click here .
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1 Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Choosing a Medigap Policy Guide to Health Insurance For People with Medicare. Page 65.
2 Medicare. The Official US Government Site for People With Medicare. http://www.medicare.gov/Nursing/Payment.asp. 8/27/02
3 US General Accounting Office. Long-Term Care Insurance. Better Information Critical To Prospective Purchasers. 9/13/00. Page 7.
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