|What Is Medicare?|
is the federal health insurance program for elderly persons. In
1965, Medicare was enacted to provide a "safety net" of health-care coverage
for qualifying individuals.
is packaged in two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A is hospital
insurance protection. It covers hospitalization, some hospice care, and a
limited amount of post-hospital skilled nursing and home health care. Part
B, which is medical insurance, covers physicians services, outpatient
hospital care, physical therapy, diagnostic tests, and a variety of other
first glance, it appears Uncle Sam has everything covered. But,
unfortunately, there are many limitations.
have to pay \$840 of your hospitalization costs every time you go to the
hospital unless your visits are separated by fewer than 60 days. If thats
the case, you only pay the first time.
you stay in the hospital longer than 60 days, you will be required to pay
a co-payment of \$210 a day for days 61 through 90.
also have a lifetime reserve of 60 days that can be used in conjunction
with more than one extended stay. When you use these days, you will pay \$420
per day. Medicare wont cover any stays longer than 90 days once you have
depleted your 60-day reserve.
It Pay for Skilled Nursing Care?
will pay for the first 20 days of skilled nursing care but only
after youve been in the hospital for three days. This means youll have paid
at least the \$840 deductible for that three-day stay. From the 21st day
through the 100th day, Medicare will cover all but \$105 per day. After 100
days, Medicare will not pay anything for skilled nursing care, and you must
bear the full cost.
supplemental insurance, or Medigap, is designed to pick up where
Medicare stops. As such, it usually pays the deductibles and co-payments
required by Medicare. Coverage will vary according to the benefits outlined
in each specific policy.
insurance may not pay for any additional procedures that aren't
specifically addressed by Medicare. Most policies will only help to cover
the deductibles and co-payments imposed by Medicare.
What About Long-Term Care?
provides only limited coverage for skilled nursing care and pays
for only up to 100 days of care. And Medigap doesn't fill the gaps in this
you are concerned about meeting your potential long-term-care needs, you
should look into additional coverage to fill in the gaps. In many cases, it
may be best to consider purchasing a private long-term-care insurance policy
to help protect against these potentially devastating costs.
2003 Emerald Publications