Signing Up for Medicare Before Entering a Nursing Home

Most people have difficulty paying for a stay in a nursing home without insurance. Fortunately, nursing homes typically accept most insurance carriers. Since everyone over the age of 65 is eligible for Medicare, they should be able to stay in many nursing homes that accept it.

Tips for Signing Up for Medicare

You should always apply for Medicare before trying to get into a nursing home. Here are some things that you will need to be aware of:

Do Not Rely on Private Insurance

You don’t want to rely on private insurance if you are entering a nursing home. Phillip Moeller of the Sloan Center of Aging and Work has said that many people forego signing up for Medicare because it is too much work. However, he said that most of these people would save a considerable amount of money by giving up their private healthcare plans in lieu of Medicare.

Many private insurance providers won’t cover long-term stays in a nursing facility. There is no sense paying those extra premiums for services that you won’t receive.

Apply Through Social Security

Many people tried applying for Medicare through the new health exchanges last fall. and state health exchanges help citizens sign up for Medicaid and private insurance, but Medicare recipients will need to go through Social Security.

You can either sign up through the Social Security website or call 1-800-772-1213. The process is generally very straightforward, but make sure that you ask for assistance if you have any questions or concerns.

Sign Up for All Parts

There are several different parts of Medicare. Medicare Part A covers the costs of hospitalization. It will not cover nursing home costs if you only need custodial care. It is a good idea to speak with the staff at the nursing home to make sure that you receive all necessary forms of coverage. You will want to talk to in-home care providers such as these as well, because the requirements are typically different.

Therefore, you should make sure that you also receive Medicare Part B if you won’t need as much intensive treatment.  Medical Part B covers the cost of most forms of medical necessary care. It is necessary coverage for anyone entering a nursing facility. You will also want to make sure that you receive this coverage if you have any ongoing medical problems.

You should also make sure that you receive Medicare Part D coverage. This coverage will provide access to many important prescription drugs. You don’t know what medical problems you may develop in the future, so make sure that you get this coverage before entering a nursing home.

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