Under certain limited conditions, Medicare will pay some nursing home costs for Medicare beneficiaries who require skilled nursing or rehabilitation services. Medicare does not pay for long term care. It only pays for medically necessary skilled nursing care. To be covered, you must receive the services from a Medicare certified skilled nursing provider after a qualifying hospital stay. A qualifying hospital stay is the amount of time spent in a hospital just prior to entering a nursing home. This is at least three days.
You must meet these conditions for Medicare to help pay for your care in a nursing home:
- You need to have been in the hospital for three or more days before you go to a skilled nursing setting.
- Your care must begin within 30 days after you leave the hospital.
- Your doctor must order daily skilled nursing or rehabilitation services that you can get only in a skilled nursing home.
- You get these skilled services in a nursing home that has been approved by Medicare
- If you meet these conditions, Medicare pays for up to 100 days in a benefit period. A benefit period begins the day you go into the hospital or skilled nursing home. The benefit period ends when you have been out of the hospital or skilled nursing home for at least 60 days in a row. You pay a Part A deductible for each new benefit period.