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Bearing the Cost of Senior Living

Aug 25, 2011 at 2:56

Medicare is the most commonly used health care for seniors, and when it comes to nursing home compare options, facilities should be certified. When you compare nursing home options that should be one of the first questions you ask. Is the facility certified by Medicare/Medicaid? If it is not, then all costs associated with admittance must be paid by the patient. The costs of nursing home stays can start at $50 per day. For larger and better run facilities, fees in excess of $200 per day are not unusual. Paying over $6,000 per month for accommodations is not something that most people are able to do.

What Does Medicare Pay?

Medicare will pay for short term stays, provided the patient shows improvement. Independent senior living is not covered at all. The only costs that Medicare will bear are specifically related to personal health. Medicare will cover the cost on intermittent nursing care regardless of location. If the patient is able to remain at home, the cost will be significantly lower. Medicare will pay to have skilled nursing in the home, along with a health aide to supply needed services related to daily activities like dressing and bathing.

What Medicare Doesn’t Pay

Medicare will only cover intermittent costs, and only if the patient is home bound. That means that if your elderly loved one requires constant care, Medicare will only pay for a limited time, usually no more than ninety days. After that time, Medicare stops paying for constant care. Intermittent care is covered for much longer periods of time. If your loved one only requires nursing assistance a couple of times per week, then Medicare can be used to fund those costs on a long term basis. The basic living expenses or independent senior living, utilities, food, rent/mortgage, are the responsibility of the patient or care giver, but the health related costs Medicare will pay.

Don’t wait until your loved one needs in-home care to start planning a comprehensive coverage strategy. Contact local service providers now to get started!