What care services does Medicare cover?

Many people plan their finances so they can receive Medicaid because they can obtain coverage for long-term care under the program. You may wonder if the similarly-named Medicare program is an alternative option for care coverage. However, Medicaid and Medicare are quite different and do not offer the same services.

Medicare is a health insurance program that primarily covers costs related to illnesses and injuries. It does not cover the costs of long-term care, such as a permanent move into a nursing home.

Care services offered by Medicare

According to AARP, Medicare can help pay for up to 100 days of rehabilitation or skilled nursing care after a major health issue, based on the recommendation of a doctor. This may include services like physical therapy, skilled nursing care or short-term assistance with daily tasks. However, this does not include coverage for longer stays.

Medicare also does not cover long-term care services that include assistance with activities such as dressing, toileting or feeding for those unable to care for themselves at home without family support. For such services, Medicaid is the proper choice.

Care services offered by Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is a private plan offered by a company that contracts with Medicare. Some of these plans provide nonmedical services at home, such as meals or installing safety devices in a home, including grab bars to help older people support themselves. A special needs plan may also offer support services for recipients in their homes.

Still, these plans do not encompass the range of long-term care that you may need in your older years. At best, they could supplement or reinforce your existing range of care.

Factoring in Medicare services is a wise option, as some people can qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid at the same time. Even so, Medicaid is the appropriate avenue for nursing home coverage and other long-term care expenses if you are on a limited budget.



FindLaw Network