Medicare, the health insurance program for America's seniors, makes sure everyone in the U.S.A. receives health care as they age. Medicare does NOT pay for ongoing long-term care in a nursing home. However, Medicare offers all seniors the peace of mind of health insurance coverage and provides a few options which can be changed each year.
As Medicare's open enrollment ends in just a few days, here are items you should consider. You must be age 65 or above to enroll in Medicare health insurance.
First, Medicaid replaces Medicare for very low-income seniors. You may review the Medicaid financial requirements in your state on Caregiverlist's By-State directory.
October 15th through December 7th Medicare Open Enrollment allows all seniors with Medicare to change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2014.
Medicare has a separate plan for health insurance vs. drug coverage.
Medicare's website allows you to research the type of plan that will be the best fit for you plus they have added a feature that allows you to plug in the type of test or item you may need, such as diabetes test strips, to see if they are covered by your Medicare plan.
Or, you may actually call Medicare to receive help: Call 1-800-MEDICARE
Plan ahead for any long-term care needs by researching ahead of time the nursing homes in your area and choosing the ones with the highest ratings and most appropriate costs for your budget. Remember, Medicare may pay for a portion of nursing home care for up to 100 days and beyond this time period, you will need to privately pay for your senior care at a nursing home, assisted living community or with professional in-home senior care services. Request a plan of care for your area to be prepared and visit your state's nursing home costs and ratings guide.