Part A Medicare covers very few of the costs associated with inpatient hospital stays with the limit being 90-days for each benefit period. But, you might want to use lifetime reserve days for extending Part A coverage in case you want the inpatient hospital care to go beyond the 90-day restriction. For this purpose, you’ll be given 60 lifetime days as reserve in total.
The inpatient hospital plan under Part A Medicare covers “hospital services, which includes meals, semi-private rooms, regular nursing, medications as a portion of the inpatient treatment, along with other hospital supplies & services,” as per Medicare.gov.
The lifetime reserve days need a day-to-day payment of $682 as co-insurance in 2019. Each of the available Medicare Supplement plans can cover this cost on your behalf. In addition, Medigap also covers hospital health-care expenses of up-to an extra 365 days once you use up all your Medicare benefits.
Hospital care & Part A Medicare:
For using lifetime reserve days, it is important for you to prove your eligibility for in-patient hospital care which is covered by Part A Medicare.
To become eligible for in-patient hospital care, it is necessary that your hospital physician makes an authorized order stating “you require at least 2 mid-nights of medically essential in-patient hospital care for treating your injury or illness & the hospital officially admits you.” The official Medicare site also offers a guide which help you determine whether you’re a hospital inpatient or outpatient.
You need to use Part A Medicare hospital services (in-patient) for at least 90-days within your benefit period before you use your lifetime reserve days.
Use Medicare Supplemental Plans to Reduce Your Costs:
Medicare Supplemental Plans Can Help You Cover Extra Costs Not Covered by Original Medicare. With Medicare Supplement Plans, you will be able to easily cover your co-insurance of Part A Medicare lifetime reserve day applicable on a daily basis. Each of the Medigap coverages offers a complete coverage for the co-insurance required for Medicare Part A in-patient hospital care.
In addition to the above, your Medicare Supplemental plan will also be able to provide extra coverage which you will be able to use if you reach the threshold of lifetime reserve days. each time the 60 days lifetime restriction is used up, your Supplemental plan will offer coverage that can last up to 365 extra lifetime days.