Skilled Nursing, Medicare and You

skilled nursing medicareThere's more to Medicare than Medicare nursing homes. Learn more now!

When it comes to skilled nursing, Medicare plays a large role in financing the growing senior housing sector. You may have heard about "Medicare nursing homes" or "Medicare skilled nursing facilities." These nursing facilities are federally approved to offer Medicare-covered services to residents. But thankfully, Medicare nursing homes make up only a portion of the benefits this federal health insurance program offers. Read on for an overview of Medicare Parts A and B, and to locate potential Medicare skilled nursing facilities for your loved one.

A Mainstay of Skilled Nursing: Medicare

Since 1965, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been offering federal assistance to the elderly and disabled through Medicare. Coverage depends on a number of eligibility criteria; however ineligible seniors 65 or older can often opt in to coverage for a fee.

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is the Medicare benefit that provides hospital care. Eligible seniors can receive medical tests, care and therapy in a hospital or Medicare nursing home for up to 100 continuous days after a 3-day hospital stay for the same ailment. Benefits include a semi-private room, meals and medical equipment.

Some eligibility criteria for this Medicare nursing home coverage include legal U.S. residence for five or more years and a minimum of 10 years of family Medicare tax payment. Since there are no income or asset limits set for Medicare eligibility, the program offers coverage to an astounding 4 million Americans. Ineligible seniors may opt in to the program for a small monthly premium.

Medicare Part B

Because of Medicare's limited benefit offerings, many Medicare recipients opt to purchase supplemental health insurance to cover additional medical expenses. Medicare Part B is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' supplemental insurance option. Those who enroll in Medicare Part B receive coverage for services associated with visits to a doctor's office, including some of the following:

  • Outpatient hospital procedures
  • Physician visits
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Prosthetics
  • Eyeglasses
  • Chemotherapy
  • Renal Dialysis

Anyone who meets criteria for Medicare Part A can purchase Part B coverage for a monthly premium. In 2010, the yearly deductible was $155 and the monthly premium was $110.50 per person.

Find Medicare Skilled Nursing Facilities

Medicare skilled nursing facilities provide many of the services and items covered by Medicare Parts A and B. If you are looking for long-term care for your ill loved one, you will do well to research skilled nursing. Medicare benefits may pay for a good portion of your costs and help you during an already stressful transition.

If you have more questions about skilled nursing, Medicare benefits and how they come together, feel free to call the toll-free number at the top of this page. Our advisors will do their best to make the process clear and manageable. In the meantime, find information on local Medicare skilled nursing facilities by filling out the search box at the top of the page as well.