Medicare only covers skilled care under very limited conditions. Medicare will cover only the first 100 days of care in a nursing home and only if:

  • you are receiving skilled care, and
  • you have a qualifying hospital stay of at least three days and enter the nursing home within 30 days of that hospital discharge.

Also, this coverage is restricted to care in a “certified skilled nursing facility” –a place that provides those age 65 or older and many disabled people with daily skilled nursing care or skilled rehabilitation services, plus other medical services. It must be certified under the Medicare Act to have met high standards for care. (It may be a specially qualified long-term care facility, part of a hospital or a rehabilitation center.)

There are also some deductibles and copays (meaning you have to pay part of the cost). Medicare also covers limited home visits for skilled care.

Restrictions on receiving nursing home care or home care, including a prior hospital stay and need for skilled care, as well as required deductibles and copayments, apply.

Persons with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease typically require non-skilled, custodial care for long periods of time. This type of care is still not covered under Medicare.