Medicare provides up to 100 days of skilled nursing home coverage. However, in order to qualify, you must first have a 3 night inpatient hospital stay – observation status does not count.
In addition, the patient must receive a skilled level of care in the nursing facility. In general, this means the resident must receive daily rehabilitation services.
Coverage is free for 20 days. For 2012, days 21-100 have a daily co-pay of $144.50 per day. If the resident carries a Medicare Supplement policy, then this co-pay may be covered under the policy.
A new 100 day period begins if the patient has not received skilled care for 60 consecutive days.