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Medicare Part A only covers a certain number of hospital stays, but a patient does not run out of outpatient services.

How Can Medicare Help?

Insurance companies make it difficult for older people and people in poor health to get insurance. Medicare can help protect older people from losing insurance coverage at a time in their life when they may need it most. Medicare Part A will only cover a certain number of hospital days in a person’s lifetime.

Psychiatric Care

Medicare Part A will only cover psychiatric inpatients for 190 days at a time. However, unlike some other services, there is no lifetime limit on psychiatric services. If you stay in a psychiatric hospital for a longer amount of time, it is possible that a Medigap plan will cover some of the cost.

Hospital Stays

Regular hospital stays work slightly differently. Medicare will let a patient stay in the hospital for up to 90 days before he starts using up his lifetime reserve. If he has a Medigap plan, the secondary insurance will take up the slack if he must stay in the hospital for the same illness or injury after this time, you start using the reserve days. A patient can use 60 reserve days before running out of them.

Nursing Home

If you need to stay in a nursing facility, Medicare pays for the first 20 days. Medicare pays some of the costs for up to 80 additional days. The consumer will pay $130 dollars out of pocket. If a recovery is not expected, the patient may be switched to a Medicare Part B.

Other Care

Medicare will cover speech and occupation therapy, but a patient receives a limited amount of coverage per year. The amount Medicare covers for these types of therapy changes each year. If the amount for therapy and speech services exceeds what Medicare Part A will cover, the patient must pay out of his pocket or through another insurance plan.

A patient cannot run out of primary care coverage for visits to his local doctor, but it is possible that the might run out of his reserve days or exceed the limits for therapy. Buying a Medigap plan can help extend the reserve days for a Medicare recipient.