How long will Medicare cover skilled nursing care?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2016 | Estate Planning

After a serious accident or illness, you may not be able to care for your loved one on your own. It may become necessary to move your loved one into a nursing home. However, the cost of nursing home care in Massachusetts can be substantial.

Whether it is your spouse or your parent who needs skilled nursing care, Medicare can help cover some of the initial costs. This coverage will only last for a short period of time, however.

Medicare will cover up to 100 days of long-term care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). The coverage can end before 100 days if your loved one fails to meet the eligibility criteria to continue receiving treatment.

To obtain Medicare coverage for nursing home care, it must be medically necessary for your loved one to receive skilled nursing care. For example, if your spouse or parent was injured in a fire, he or she may need to have sterile bandages changed regularly. This type of treatment is both medically necessary and requires treatment from a skilled nurse.

What to do when you reach the end of Medicare coverage

The nursing care facility will inform you when Medicare coverage is ending. When you reach your end date for coverage, unless you have additional long-term care insurance coverage, you will need to find another way to pay for the nursing home care your loved one needs.

Medicaid/MassHealth is one option that may help you cover the costs of nursing home care. In order to qualify for this coverage, your loved one will need to meet the eligibility requirements. To determine if your loved one qualifies, it is important to work with an experienced attorney in this area. A lawyer can help you understand the income and asset requirements for Medicaid/MassHealth and help you take steps to protect your loved one’s assets before you first apply.

At the Center for Elder Law and Estate Planning, we have extensive experience helping clients with a wide range of elder law issues. Turn to our firm for answers to your questions about Medicare and Medicaid coverage in Massachusetts.