Medicare and Medigap Insurance

Posted on October 29, 2010


A skilled nursing facility is staffed as an intensive care unit, using technicians and nurses under the supervision of a physician.

When Jane turned 65 she began to receive Medicare, the federal government’s health care insurance program for senior citizens (65 years of age). Medicare also covers the disabled and people of any age who have kidney problems and are on dialysis.

Sometimes there are costs that Medicare doesn’t cover: an acute care program. For that, Jane can purchase a Medigap policy. Jane’s program is Medicare A which is for the elderly or disabled, including those on dialysis. Medicare Part A is for hospitalization and nursing homes, as well as paying for a Home Health Aide if Jane wants to stay in her home.

Medicare covers 90 days of hospital care for each period that Jane is ill. After Jane leaves the hospital (provided she only stays 90 days) if she stays out of the hospital for sixty days, she is again eligible for hospitalization covered by Medicare for another 90 days. These periods of covered hospitalization are called “spells of illness”.

If Jane becomes terminally ill, and has no more than six months to live, Medicare will cover hospice care, either at home or in a hospice.

Medicare Part B covers Jane’s visits to the doctor, and outpatient services. When Jane became eligible for Part A, she was automatically also eligible for Part B.

See elder law information