Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care Costs?

Medicare Part A provides limited coverage for skilled nursing care if certain requirements are met.   However, even if your care is Medicare Part A eligible, it only covers the cost of a skilled nursing facility for up to 20 days, with the possibility of an additional 80 days on a co-payment basis. The average nursing home stay is 2.4 years.

Beyond the limited time that Medicare Part A will cover care is the simple fact that it does not cover the majority of nursing home care because most residents of a nursing home do not require skilled care, which is a prerequisite for Medicare Part A coverage.  So, most nursing home resident’s care will never be covered by Medicare Part A at all.  Moreover, once it is determined that Medicare Part A will does not apply, a Medicare supplement policy will not cover nursing home care either.

So that begs the question- if Medicare won’t cover my long-term care costs, how will I pay for it?  After all, the average annual cost of a nursing home room in the Cleveland Metropolitan area is $73,912.50. That’s a lot of money!  You could deplete all your savings on long-term care costs and then apply for Medicaid, which does cover nursing home and other long-term care costs, once you are completely impoverished or you can be proactive, and implement a Medicaid planning strategy that will save your hard-earned money and improve your quality of life and that of your loved ones.  

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