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Does Medicare Cover Hospital Stays?

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published March 30, 2021 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, as well as skilled nursing care, hospice care and limited home health services.

Medicare beneficiaries can expect to meet a deductible before Part A starts paying its share of benefits.

A Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan can help pay for your hospital stays, including costs such as Medicare deductibles, copays, coinsurance and more.

Woman in hospital bed is visited by two women from her familyMedicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care costs.

What Inpatient Hospital Costs Does Medicare Cover?

As an inpatient at a hospital, your Medicare Part A coverage includes the following:

  • Semi-private rooms

  • Meals

  • General nursing

  • Inpatient treatment drugs

  • Care as part of a qualifying clinical research study

  • Other hospital services and supplies

Not included are things like private-duty nursing, most private rooms, personal care items and television and phone services.

How Much Do Hospital Stays Cost With Medicare?

Before Medicare Part A will pay its share of a hospital stay, you must first meet your Medicare Part A deductible — $1,484 per benefit period (in 2021).

For lengthy hospitalizations, you may have to pay coinsurance based on the length of your stay (all costs listed are for 2021):

  • Days 1-60: $0 coinsurance

  • Days 61-90: $371 coinsurance per day

  • Days 91 and beyond: $742 coinsurance per each "lifetime reserve day." You have 60 lifetime reserve days.

  • Beyond lifetime reserve days: All costs.

A Medigap Plan Can Help Pay for Your Hospital Stay

Medicare Supplement Insurance plan (Medigap) helps pay for out-of-pocket costs associated with a hospital stay.

All Medigap plans offer coverage for the following hospital benefits:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs         

  • First three pints of blood if needed for a transfusion        

  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

Some Medigap plans may also include coverage for:

  • Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility stay

  • Medicare Part A deductible           

With 10 standardized Medigap plans to choose from in most states, you can find one that meets your needs. 

Important: Plan F and Plan C are not available to beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.

Call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare Medigap plans that are available where you live.

Find Medicare plans that help cover hospital stays.

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Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.

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