A:

Long-term care refers to a variety of care services (medical and non-medical) that helps meet the needs of people who have a chronic illness or are disabled. Generally, long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes. There are a variety of ways to pay for long-term care, but Medicare only pays for certain kinds of care. Medicare does not cover custodial care and only pays for the first 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility or home health center. Custodial care, or nonskilled care, refers to care that helps a patient with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, eating, diabetes monitoring etc. An individual seeking Medicare for the first 100 days at a skilled nursing facility has to meet two requirements:

No.

1 - The individual must be receiving skilled care.
Skilled care refers to activities that can only be provided by health professionals like nurses, rehabilitative staff, doctors, etc.

No.2 - The individual must have stayed at the hospital for at least three days, and entered the nursing home within 30 days of hospital discharge.

If the requirements are met, Medicare pays the full costs for the first 20 days, and for the remainder of the days (days 21-100) Medicare pays the difference between a co-payment and the actual cost.

(Learn more about Medicare in our article What Does Medicare Cover?)

This question was answered by Chizoba Morah.

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