Question: My mother is currently in skilled nursing following a recent hospitalization after a fall. She has Alzheimer’s Disease and I don’t feel that we can care for her at home after her discharge. Will Medicare cover the cost of her care in an Alzheimer’s care facility?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is NO.
Medicare will cover up to 100 days of nursing home care after a 3 day INPATIENT** stay at a hospital and then it becomes the duty of the care recipient or the family to pay. (If the patient is discharged home from the nursing home and waits a 3 month period of time, and THEN is readmitted to the hospital, another 100 days of nursing care is covered.)
** Whenever your aging loved one is admitted to the hospital, make sure that they are admitted as an inpatient, not on observation and that they stay a whole 3 days or the nursing home care will not be covered. Ask to have the social worker speak with you in order to determine that this is carried out correctly.
They are 4other ways that care in a memory care facility might be covered:
1. Long Term Care Insurance will cover a certain percentage of daily memory care. (It may be too late to utilize this option for your loved one but consider purchasing it for yourself, as it becomes much more expensive as your age increases.)
2. Medicare Supplemental Insurance (sometimes called Medi-Gap) will help to pay for skilled nursing care but only when it is covered by Medicare.
3. Medicaid may cover memory care but what is covered and the ability to qualify for Medicaid varies from state to state. Check with an experienced elderlaw attorney to determine qualifications. You should begin planning for this option long before your loved one needs to use it.
4. If your loved one served in the military, there may be some coverage available, but this option is iffy at best and often difficult to access.
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