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Unfortunately, "No".

Healthcare insurance covers the cost of healthcare – and sometimes not particularly well, at that.

If an elderly individual has a traditional Medicare policy, that policy will ONLY cover the cost of short-term rehab in a skilled nursing facility, and only after a qualifying three-night hospital stay. 

The key word is short-term

The rehab benefit is expended following a 20- to 100-day stay in a nursing facility, and it can only be renewed once a patient has remained out of a hospital or nursing home for a full 60 days after their rehab stay.

Medicare NEVER covers the costs associated with a patient staying permanently in a nursing home.

Moreover, Medicare does NOT cover the cost of non-healthcare services at home.

If a doctor orders it, Medicare will pay for a home healthcare nurse or therapist to come into the home for a 60-day episode of care, but a person cannot expect to receive any other types of services in the home except for assistance with bathing once or twice per week.

While bathing is certainly important, many people who need home healthcare should also consider the other assistance they require, such as help with driving to and from appointments, assistance with incontinence, or help with preparing meals.

If a patient has a managed Medicare plan – otherwise known as Medicare Part C, which is a Medicare policy managed by a private insurance company – or a private insurance plan, they can expect even fewer nursing facility and home benefits than Medicare offers.

Healthcare insurance, whether public or private, simply does not offer what so many individuals need as they age: assistance with errands, cleaning, cooking, bathing, and toileting.

All of these rules differentiating medical services from long-term care services can seem complicated, but it’s important for families to not feel caught off guard by the reality that healthcare insurance simply does not cover the needs of individuals who need long-term care services.