Unfortunately, Medicare is more of a insurance program for hospitals and phyicians; it is not long term care insurance. Medicare only covers up to 100 days of skilled nursing facility care if the elder meets certain requirements. These requirements include:
* The elder must have moved to the nursing home within 30 days of a hospital discharge;
* The hospital stay must have lasted at least three nights;
* The elder must receive a skilled level of care.
Medicare pays entirely for the first 20 days and for 21 days though 100, everything above a co-insurance payment which fluctuates each year, but is currently in 2014 of $152 per day and in 2015, will be raised to $157.50 per day.
The co-insurance payment is generally covered by Medicare supplemental insurance. Despite such coverage, the average Medicare patient in a nursing home receives little over 20 days of Medicare coverage. Very often, without fully understanding the documents they sign, the patient or family waives rights to Medicare coverage by signing documents provided to them by the nursing home.