If you have a loved-one that will be entering a nursing home – and will be depending on Medicare for part of the bills – you should understand how Medicare works. Understanding the system will help ensure that you aren't faced with unexpected financial obligations. One of the most important things you should know is that Medicare coverage is actually comprised of several different benefit parts. Here's a brief description of each part.

Part A

Full-time nursing facilities can be expensive, especially if you'll be paying cash for the services. That's where Medicare part A comes in. Part A covers the inpatient care that your loved one will receive in hospitals and nursing homes. It also pays for any rehabilitative services your loved one may require. If your loved one should eventually require hospice care, Medicare part A will also cover that. When choosing a nursing home for your loved one, be sure to discuss Medicare benefits with the hospital insurance department. 

Part B

Medicare part B is an optional program associated with the Medicare program. Part B provides coverage for things like doctor's visits, durable medical equipment – such as wheelchairs and walkers, as well as preventative care such as annual flu shots. While this coverage does require monthly premiums, the program is subsidized so payments may be lower than traditional private healthcare coverage.

Part C

Medicare part C coverage is an alternative to the regular part A plan. Part C combines both part A and part B to provide a comprehensive package of medical coverage for your loved one. In addition, part C also provides coverage for things like vision, dental and hearing. This coverage is provided by insurance companies outside of the Medicare program, however the company plans must be approved by Medicare. This helps ensure that your loved one will receive proper insurance coverage.

Part D

With the rising cost of prescription medications, if your loved one takes requires medication on a regular basis, you'll want to make sure they have Medicare part D coverage. With part D, you won't have to worry about paying cash for expensive medications. Instead, your loved ones part D coverage will take care of those costs for them. There is a monthly premium required for part D coverage. It's a good idea to look at the monthly costs of your loved ones medications. The monthly premium may be less than what they're presently paying for their medications.

If your loved one needs to enter a nursing home, you want to make sure that they have the insurance coverage to take care of their medical needs. This information will help you understand the Medicare options that are available for your loved one. You may also want to consider contacting local assisted living options, such as Diamond View Assisted Living, to discuss any questions or concerns you might have.