How Much Rehab Does Medicare Cover? (Solved)

Medicare pays part of the cost for inpatient rehab services on a sliding time scale. After you meet your deductible, Medicare can pay 100% of the cost for your first 60 days of care, followed by a 30-day period in which you are charged a $341 co-payment for each day of treatment.

  • Medicare Part A can help pay for inpatient rehabilitation. Part A covers up to 60 days in treatment without a co-insurance payment. People using Part A do have to pay a deductible. Medicare only covers 190 days of inpatient care for a person’s lifetime.


How many days of rehab does Medicare cover?

Medicare will pay for inpatient rehab for up to 100 days in each benefit period, as long as you have been in a hospital for at least three days prior. A benefit period starts when you go into the hospital and ends when you have not received any hospital care or skilled nursing care for 60 days.

What is the Medicare 100 day rule?

Medicare covers up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) each benefit period. If you need more than 100 days of SNF care in a benefit period, you will need to pay out of pocket. If your care is ending because you are running out of days, the facility is not required to provide written notice.

Does Medicare cover home rehabilitation?

Medicare will cover your rehab services (physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology), a semi-private room, your meals, nursing services, medications and other hospital services and supplies received during your stay.

What is the 60% rule in rehab?

The 60% Rule is a Medicare facility criterion that requires each IRF to discharge at least 60 percent of its patients with one of 13 qualifying conditions.

Can Medicare kick you out of rehab?

Standard Medicare rehab benefits run out after 90 days per benefit period. When you sign up for Medicare, you are given a maximum of 60 lifetime reserve days. You can apply these to days you spend in rehab over the 90-day limit per benefit period.

What is the criteria for inpatient rehab?

Rehabilitation Readiness Patient is willing and able to participate in a rehabilitation program. Patient must be able to participate in an intensive therapy program i.e., 3 hours per day, 5 to 6 days per week. Patients require two or more therapy disciplines. Patients require at least a five-day rehab stay.

Is a rehab considered a skilled nursing facility?

Skilled nursing facilities provide short-term, temporary housing, 24-hour skilled nursing services, and medical care to elderly adults who need rehab after a hospital discharge. Rehab services at a skilled nursing facility may include: Physical therapy. Occupational therapy.

What happens when you run out of Medicare days?

Medicare will stop paying for your inpatient-related hospital costs (such as room and board) if you run out of days during your benefit period. To be eligible for a new benefit period, and additional days of inpatient coverage, you must remain out of the hospital or SNF for 60 days in a row.

What happens when Medicare runs out of money?

It will have money to pay for health care. Instead, it is projected to become insolvent. Insolvency means that Medicare may not have the funds to pay 100% of its expenses. Insolvency can sometimes lead to bankruptcy, but in the case of Medicare, Congress is likely to intervene and acquire the necessary funding.

What is the maximum number of home health visits that Medicare will cover?

Medicare’s home health benefit covers skilled nursing care and home health aide services provided up to seven days per week for no more than eight hours per day and 28 hours per week. If you need additional care, Medicare provides up to 35 hours per week on a case-by-case basis.

Will Medicare pay for transfer from one rehab to another?

Federal and state law protects you from being unfairly discharged or transferred from a nursing home. According to, you generally can’t be transferred to a different skilled nursing facility or discharged unless: Your condition has improved so much that care in a nursing home isn’t medically necessary.

What is the difference between a nursing home and a rehab facility?

While nursing homes are looking for patients who need long-term or end-of-life care, rehabilitation centers are focused on helping residents transition back to their everyday lives.

What is a rehab diagnosis?

The main difference is that in rehabilitation the presenting problems are limitations in activities and the main items investigated are impairment and contextual matters, whereas in medicine the presenting problems are symptoms, and the goals are the diagnosis and treatment of the underlying disease.

What is considered short term rehabilitation?

What is short-term rehabilitation? Short-term rehabilitation provides therapy for individuals recovering from a surgery, illness or accident. Generally, those needing short-term, in-patient rehabilitation may remain involved in their program at one of our facilities for as little as a couple of days to several weeks.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Care Coverage

Part A of the Medicare program covers inpatient hospitalizations, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and a portion of home health care.” about=”/node/32351″ role=”article” about=”/node/32351″> Health care services or supplies required to diagnose or treat an illness, accident, ailment, disease, or its symptoms and that satisfy established standards of medicine are covered under Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance).

The medically required treatment you get in an inpatient rehabilitation facility or unit (also known as an inpatient “rehab” facility, IRF, acute care rehabilitation center, or rehabilitation hospital) is described in more detail below.

Your Original Medicare expenses are as follows: You are responsible for each.

A benefit period begins on the day that you are admitted as an inpatient to a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF).

If you are admitted to a hospital or a skilled nursing facility after one benefit term has expired, a new benefit period will begin.

A person may get benefits during an unlimited number of time periods.” benefit period: role=”article” about=”/node/32116″> role=”article” about=”/node/32116″>

  • For each benefit period (up to 60 days total over your lifetime), you will pay a $1,556 deductible*
  • For days 61-90, you will pay $389 coinsurance per day
  • For days 91 and beyond, you will pay $778 coinsurance for each “lifetime reserve day” after day 90 for each benefit period (up to 60 days total over your lifetime)
  • Each day following the lifetime reserve days is as follows: Including all expenses

*If you were previously charged a deductible for care received during a prior hospitalization within the same benefit period, you will not be required to pay a deductible for care received in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. This is due to the fact that your benefit period begins on the first day of your previous hospital stay, and that hospital stay counts against your deductible. As an illustration:

  • Following your discharge from an acute care hospital, you are transported to an inpatient rehabilitation center. Inpatient rehabilitation is required if you are admitted to a facility within 60 days after being discharged from the hospital.

What it is and how it works Acute inpatient rehabilitation can be beneficial if you’re recovering from a serious surgical procedure, illness, or injury and require a comprehensive rehabilitation therapy program under physician supervision, as well as your doctors and therapists working collaboratively to provide you with coordinated care. Medicare provides coverage for the following:

  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology are all examples of rehabilitation therapies available. A semi-private room
  • Meals
  • Nursing services
  • Drugs
  • And other amenities Various more healthcare services and supplies are available.


  • Nursing services on a private basis
  • Your own telephone and television in your room
  • Toiletries and other personal things such as toothpaste, socks, and razors (unless when a hospital supplies them as part of your hospital admittance kit)
  • When medically essential, a separate room is provided.

Things to be aware of

During the COVID-19 pandemic, inpatient rehabilitation facilities may accept you from an acute-care hospitals experiencing a surge, even if you don’t require rehabilitation care.

Part B of the Medicare program provides some doctor’s services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventative treatments, among other things. ” role=”article” about=”/node/32356″> ” role=”article” about=”/node/32356″> While you’re in an inpatient rehabilitation center, Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) will pay the costs of any doctor’s services you get.

Is my test, item, or service covered?

Medicare Part A provides coverage for medically required inpatient rehabilitation (rehabilitation) services, which can be beneficial when recuperating from major injuries, surgery, or a medical condition.

Rehabilitation services for inpatients are available at the following facilities:

  • A skilled nursing facility, an inpatient rehabilitation facility (also known as an IRF or inpatient “rehab” facility), an acute care rehabilitation center, and a rehabilitation hospital are all examples of skilled nursing facilities.

In order for inpatient rehabilitation to be reimbursed, your doctor must certify that the following conditions apply to your medical condition: 1. It requires extensive rehabilitation. There is a requirement for ongoing medical supervision. The treatment you get must be coordinated by your physicians and therapists, who must work together. During your stay, Medicare will cover your rehab services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology), a semi-private room, your meals and snacks, nursing services, prescriptions, and any other hospital services and supplies that you receive.

How Much Does Inpatient Rehab Care Cost with Medicare?

The specifics of what Medicare pays and for how long are determined by the type of treatment required and the location where it is delivered. When it comes to inpatient rehab at a skilled nursing facility, the costs and insurance coverage are the same as they are for skilled nursing facility care.

How Long Will Medicare Cover Rehab in a Skilled Nursing Facility?

Medicare pays inpatient rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility (commonly known as an SNF) for up to 100 days if the patient meets certain criteria. After an accident or operation such as a hip or knee replacement, rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility may be required.

Skilled nursing facility care costs

The following are the costs associated with a rehabilitation stay at a skilled care facility:

  • After you’ve reached the Part A deductible, you normally don’t have to pay anything for days 1–20 in a single benefit month. For days 21–100 of a benefit period, you must pay a per-day premium established by Medicare. In a benefit period, you are responsible for 100 percent of the costs from day 101 onward.

After a qualified hospital stay that fits the 3-day criterion, Medicare will pay for inpatient rehab in a skilled nursing facility under the Medicare program. To be eligible for Medicare coverage of rehab in a skilled nursing facility, you must be admitted to the hospital as an inpatient for at least three days while receiving care. Keep in mind that you must be officially admitted to the hospital by a doctor’s order in order to be deemed an inpatient, so be aware of this restriction. In the event that the 3-day rule is not satisfied, Medicare may pay for outpatient rehabilitation.

How Long Will Medicare Cover Rehab in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility?

When inpatient rehabilitation in an inpatient rehabilitation facility (also known as an IRF) is deemed “medically essential,” Medicare will pay for the treatment. After a major medical incident, such as a stroke or a spinal cord damage, you may require rehabilitation in an IRF. If your doctor determines that your medical condition necessitates the following treatment in an inpatient rehabilitation center, you will be eligible for care.

  • Rehab that is intensive
  • Ongoing medical monitoring
  • Coordinated treatment from a team of physicians and therapists who are working together

Inpatient rehabilitation facility costs

The following are the costs associated with rehab at an inpatient rehabilitation facility:

  • After you’ve reached the Part A deductible, you normally don’t have to pay anything for days 1–60 in a single benefit month. For days 61–90 of a benefit period, you must pay a per-day premium established by Medicare. Medicare allows you to spend up to 60 lifetime reserve days at a per-day price established by Medicare for days 91–150 of a benefit period
  • You are responsible for 100 percent of the cost of days 150 and beyond of a benefit period
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Depending on your Medicare Advantage plan, your inpatient rehab coverage and expenses may be different. Additionally, depending on your Medicare supplement plan, part of your inpatient rehab expenditures may be covered. For further information, contact your plan’s provider. It is also possible that your charges will be different if you were moved to an inpatient rehab facility immediately from an acute care hospital or within 60 days of being discharged from an acute care hospital.

For the care you get at the inpatient rehab facility, you will not be required to pay a deductible if you previously paid a deductible for the care you received during the previous hospitalization within the same benefit period.

How Many Days Will Medicare Pay for Rehab?

Medicare reimburses a portion of the cost of inpatient rehabilitation treatments on a sliding scale basis. After you have met your deductible, Medicare can cover 100 percent of the cost of your first 60 days of care. After that, you will be charged a $341 co-payment for each day of treatment for the next 30 days. Stays that are longer than expected may count against your lifetime reserve days, beyond which you may be invoiced for the whole cost of your treatment.

What Is Rehab?

Rehabilitation is a type of inpatient therapy that many seniors get after being sent to the hospital. Depending on the severity of your injury or sickness and the tight coordination required between your doctor and caregivers, you may need to receive expert nursing care to recuperate after your first treatment is complete. This care may be provided at a skilled nursing facility (SNF) on its own, or you may be moved to a rehabilitation unit at the hospital where you were first treated. There are a variety of reasons why people enter rehab.

Nursing personnel may distribute your prescription, while facility caregivers assist you with personal care requirements and other activities of daily living in a comfortable environment.

While in rehabilitation, many patients undergo physical, occupational, and mental health therapy, as well as prosthetic or orthopedic equipment that can assist them in returning to their previous level of independence after leaving the institution.

Medicare Coverage for Rehab Services

In order to provide skilled nursing services to inpatients, the majority of your Medicare coverage is provided under the Part A inpatient benefit. This coverage is automatically offered to qualified seniors, and it is often provided without the payment of a monthly premium. If you receive Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan, your Part A benefits are included in the cost of your insurance. Despite the fact that the vast majority of consumers do not pay a monthly premium for their Part A insurance, you may be required to pay the usual inpatient deductible before receiving care.

Fortunately, Medicare considers your initial hospitalization to be part of the same inpatient care experience as the rehabilitation treatments you receive later, so your initial deductible payment can be used against your inpatient rehab expenditures later in the year.

Medicare Time Limits

Once you are admitted to treatment, Medicare Part A pays 100 percent of your post-deductible costs for the first 60 days of your stay in the facility. This pays for all of the inpatient treatments provided by the SNF, while you may also receive outpatient services that are billed to Part B of your health insurance plan. It’s important to understand that you may be responsible for up to 20 percent of all Part B services, such as transportation and doctor office visits, even if they are rendered during your inpatient stay at the SNF.

From days 61 to 90, you may be required to make a co-payment of $341 each day for the remainder of your treatment. After your inpatient benefits have been used up, you may be required to pay for any further charges out of your own pocket.

Medicare Supplement Insurance

Many Medicare beneficiaries have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (commonly known as Medigap) coverage, which can assist pay the expenses of inpatient rehabilitation that are not covered by their primary insurance. A Medicare Supplement plan may be able to cover some or all of the deductible you would otherwise be responsible for, as well as some Part B expenses that apply to your treatment and possibly some additional out-of-pocket Medicare expenses.Coverage details vary from one Medicare Supplement Insurance policy to another, so it’s a good idea to check with a representative from your insurance carrier before you transfer to a rehab facility.A Medicare Supplement plan may be able to cover some or all of the deductible you would otherwise be responsible for

Medicaid and Rehabilitation Coverage

Health insurance provided by the Medicaid program, a joint federal-state initiative, helps millions of individuals with low financial resources pay for healthcare, which might include the expenses of rehabilitation that Medicare does not cover. The majority of the time, if you are dual-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, your rehab services will be billed to Medicare first, with any residual expenditures being transferred to Medicaid. You may still be required to satisfy a deductible or contribute a portion of the cost of your rehab before your Medicaid benefits kick in, but these benefits will most likely continue for as long as your rehab is judged medically necessary by the Medicaid program.

What if You Need More Time?

Generally speaking, standard Medicare rehabilitation benefits expire after 90 days each benefit term. If you are able to return home but require rehab again within the following benefit period, the clock begins to tick again and your services are invoiced in the same manner as they were the first time you entered rehabilitation. Medicare may continue to assist with the expense of your rehab if your stay is continuous and lasts longer than the authorized 90 days. Medicare may do this by deducting from your lifetime reserve days.

In the event that you enroll in Medicare, you will be granted a maximum of 60 reserve days during your lifetime.

These days are basically a short extension of your Part A benefits that you can use if you need them; but, they cannot be renewed and, once used, they are no longer available to you in the future.


The inpatient care benefit provided by Medicare covers the cost of your lodging and board while you are a patient in a rehabilitation facility, as well as any inpatient medical procedures and treatments.

Outpatient treatments, which are normally covered under Part B, may not be covered under Part A, so check with your insurance provider. It is automatic that both forms of care be covered under the same policy if you receive Medicare coverage through a Part C Medicare Advantage plan.

Can I use Medicare coverage for voluntary admissions to rehab?

In order to be eligible for Part A coverage for rehabilitation services, you must receive a doctor’s recommendation for the admission to the facility. Inpatient rehabilitation stays that are medically essential are covered by Medicare, but you may not be covered for elective care.

Where can I get help planning for a stay in rehab?

While you’re in treatment, you can chat with a Medicare representative about coverage limitations. Your doctor, a representative from your supplementary insurance provider, and the care planner at your rehabilitation center may all be able to offer you with the information you want. You can also work with a qualified Medicare benefits consultant or a senior financial planner to make your coverage decisions. These specialists can provide you with up-to-date information and assist you in determining your Medicare coverage for rehabilitation services.

How Long Does Medicare Pay for Rehab? Inpatient & Outpatient Coverage

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What is the length of time that Medicare will cover rehab? Learn more about how Medicare can pay for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation and treatment. Depending on the circumstances, Medicare Part A (hospitalization insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) may both fund specific rehabilitation treatments in a variety of different ways. Find out more about how long Medicare will cover rehab in different sorts of facilities, as well as the fees you may be responsible for, by reading this useful resource.

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How long does Medicare pay for rehab?

A skilled nursing facility is covered by Medicare Part A for up to 100 days, with certain coinsurance charges. After the 100th day of an inpatient SNF stay, you are liable for the whole bill. After you’ve met your Part A deductible, Medicare Part A will also pay 90 days of inpatient hospital rehab, with some coinsurance fees thrown in for good measure. You will begin to use up your “lifetime reserve days” on day 91, when you reach the end of the year. Following a surgery, injury, stroke, or other medical incident, you may be required to undertake rehabilitation in a hospital setting.

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care, which may include both the initial treatment and any further rehabilitation you get while still hospitalized as an inpatient.

  • You must first fulfill your Medicare Part A deductible before Medicare Part A can begin to pay for your rehabilitation. In 2022, the Medicare Part A deductible will be $1,556 per benefit period, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A benefit period begins the day you are admitted to the hospital and ends when you are discharged. Once you have met your deductible, Medicare will pay for the remainder of your stay, up to and including the first 60 days. It is possible to have more than one benefit period in a calendar year
  • However, this is unlikely. After 60 days, if you continue to receive inpatient treatment, you will be responsible for a coinsurance payment of $389 per day (in 2022) until the end of the 90-day period. The first of your “lifetime reserve days” will be used up on day 91, and in 2022, you will be compelled to pay a daily coinsurance of $778 to the insurance company. You have a total of 60 reserve days during the course of your life. Once you have used up all of your lifetime reserve days, you will be responsible for all hospital expenses incurred during any stay lasting more than 90 days
  • After that, you will be responsible for all future hospital expenses.

When you have been out of the hospital for 60 consecutive days, your benefit period comes to an end, and your Part A deductible will be reset the next time you are hospitalized to the hospital. It is possible that your rehabilitation will take place in a skilled care facility (SNF). You will normally be covered in full for the first 20 days of each benefit period if you are admitted to a skilled nursing facility (including any rehabilitation treatments) (after you meet your Medicare Part A deductible).

When you arrive at the hospital on days 21 to 100, you will be required to pay a coinsurance payment of $194.50 each day in 2022, after which you will be liable for all expenditures starting on day 101.

Does Medicare cover outpatient rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation services provided in an outpatient clinic or at the patient’s home include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology, to name a few. Medicare Part B often covers the costs of this form of rehabilitation. In most cases, after you have met your Medicare Part B deductible (which in 2022 will be $233 per year), you will be responsible for paying 20 percent of the Medicare-approved price for rehab services. If your main health care practitioner determines that the rehab is medically essential, there is no time restriction on how long Medicare Part B will fund these outpatient rehabilitation treatments under the program.

Does Medicare cover substance abuse rehab?

Medicare may also cover certain services connected to drug or alcohol abuse, depending on the circumstances. If your doctor certifies that you require at least 20 hours of therapeutic services per week, Medicare Part B may fund outpatient treatment services as part of a partial hospitalization program (PHP). Outpatient drug addiction treatment sessions provided by a doctor, clinical psychologist, nurse practitioner, or clinical social worker may also be covered under Part B of the Medicare program.

The extent of your coverage will be determined by your particular plan.

Medicare Advantage plans also cover rehab

In order to be considered Medicare Advantage plans, they must provide the same benefits as Original Medicare. Many of these privately offered plans may also provide extra benefits that are not included in Original Medicare, such as prescription medication coverage, in addition to the standard benefits. This implies that your eligible rehab will be covered by your Medicare Advantage plan in the same manner that Medicare Part A and Part B would. You may be able to select a Medicare Advantage plan that has additional benefits that you find beneficial but that are not covered by Original Medicare.

Alternatively, call1-855-891-70211-855-891-7021TTY Users: 711to talk with a professional insurance representative about your insurance needs.

About the author

Christian Worstell is a registered insurance agent as well as a Senior Staff Writer for He has worked in the insurance industry for over a decade. He is driven by a desire to assist people in navigating the complexity of Medicare and understanding their insurance coverage alternatives. His writing has appeared in publications like asVox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and financial blogs, among other places.

With a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Shippensburg University, Christian is an accomplished journalist. He presently resides in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina. You may have seen coverage of Christian’s studies and reporting in the following places: ​

Your Guide to Medicare and Rehabilitation Services

He is a registered insurance agent as well as a Senior Staff Writer for Christian Worstell is an insurance professional licensed in the state of California. In addition to assisting individuals in navigating the complexity of Medicare and understanding their coverage alternatives, he has a strong enthusiasm for helping people. A prolific writer to health care and financial blogs, his writing has appeared in publications like asVox, MSN, and The Washington Post, among others.

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The city of Raleigh, North Carolina is where he presently resides.

  • Medical care and rehabilitation nursing
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • And social worker help are some of the services provided. Psychological therapies
  • Orthotic and prosthetic services
  • And other related services

If you do not meet the criteria for a Medicare-covered inpatient rehabilitation hospital stay, you may still be eligible for rehabilitation services in a skilled nursing facility, through an outpatient rehabilitation program, or through a home health agency. What is necessary in order to be covered? If your doctor determines that you require this care because it is medically required, Medicare will pay for your stay in a rehabilitation facility if you satisfy the following criteria, which will guarantee that you receive safe and effective treatment:

  • You must have access to a doctor 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and see him or her at least every two to three days. You must have access to a Registered Nurse who has specialized training or expertise in rehabilitation at all hours of the day and night. Your disease necessitates intense therapy, which normally entails at least three hours of therapy each day (although you may still be able to get inpatient rehabilitation if you are not yet healthy enough to tolerate this amount of daily therapy)
  • In order to be successful, you need a well-coordinated team of professionals, including at a minimum, a doctor, a rehabilitation nurse, and one therapist.

Your doctor must also anticipate that you will be able to return to a more independent lifestyle following inpatient rehabilitation. If treatment helps you accomplish daily tasks such as eating, bathing, and dressing on your own, you may be able to transfer to a lower level of care such as assisted living or skilled nursing, or to remain at home. What is it that Medicare does not cover? If you do not satisfy the conditions listed above, it is possible that your illness does not necessitate the intensive level of care and rehabilitation provided in this environment.

  • What would be the cost to me?
  • Medicare covers the first 20 days at 100 percent of the cost.
  • After 100 days, Medicare does not cover the cost of rehabilitative therapies.
  • If you have any questions about hospital rehabilitation programs, you may reach out to a Registered Nurse at 1.866.KINDRED.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our nurses can assist you in determining whether this sort of treatment is appropriate for you or a loved one, as well as whether your health insurance plan covers it.

Senior Rehab: Medicare Coverage of Skilled Nursing Facility Stays

If your loved one requires senior rehab in a skilled nursing facility (SNF), it is critical to understand what expenditures are covered by Original Medicare and what charges must be paid for out of pocket by the family.

Does Medicare Cover Long-Term Care?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers persons over the age of 65, as well as certain younger people with disabilities and some people with end-stage renal illness. It is funded by the federal government. Medicare, like other health insurance programs, does not provide coverage for long-term care services. Medicare only pays for short-term stays in skilled nursing facilities that are certified by Medicare for the purpose of elder rehabilitation. Beneficiaries who have been hospitalized and then discharged to a rehabilitation center as part of their recovery after a major illness, accident, or procedure are more likely to require these short-term stays in a rehabilitation facility.

A significant health setback that necessitates short-term care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) frequently results in the realization that long-term care is actually required.

This is because Medicare coverage is only available for a short amount of time under certain conditions.

Medicare Rehab Coverage Guidelines

Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) covers skilled nursing care given in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) under specific conditions. Detailed explanations of the Medicare standards and requirements for coverage of senior rehab treatment in a skilled nursing facility are provided in the following sections.

How Medicare Measures Skilled Nursing Care Coverage

During “benefit periods,” Medicare evaluates the usage and coverage of skilled nursing care services. This is a difficult idea to grasp, and it frequently causes confusion among elders and family caregivers. Whenever a Medicare beneficiary is admitted to the hospital on an inpatient basis, a benefit period begins on the day of his or her admission. The time spent at the hospital as an outpatient or as an observer does not count toward the start of a benefit period. (You can get more specific information regarding how Medicare distinguishes between inpatient and outpatient statuses, as well as the expenses associated with each, at In order to be eligible for any coverage of rehab treatment in a skilled nursing facility after a benefit period has begun, a beneficiary must first complete a three-day inpatient hospital stay that meets the requirements of the plan.

A benefit period ends when a beneficiary has not received inpatient hospital or skilled nursing facility treatment for a period of 60 days consecutively.

When a benefit term expires, a new one can be started the following time the beneficiary is admitted to the hospital, if the beneficiary is still alive. There is no limit to the number of benefit periods that a recipient can receive under this arrangement.

Patient Criteria for Medicare Rehab Coverage

In addition to meeting the standards outlined above during the benefit period, a recipient must also fulfill all of the following requirements:

  1. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) is in effect for the beneficiary, and they have days remaining in their benefit period that they may utilize
  2. The beneficiary has had a qualified hospital stay. This refers to an inpatient hospital stay of three consecutive days or longer, beginning on the day the hospital admits them as an inpatient and ending on the day they are discharged from the hospital
  3. It does not include any outpatient or observation days or the day they are discharged from the hospital. An eligible beneficiary who has completed a qualifying hospital stay must attend a skilled nursing facility within a short amount of time (usually 30 days) after being discharged. It is the beneficiary’s doctor’s responsibility to order skilled nursing care, which necessitates the skills and supervision of professional personnel (e.g., registered nurses, licensed practical nurses), as well as physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists. It is necessary for the beneficiary to receive skilled nursing care on a daily basis, and the specific services required are those that can only be given in a skilled nursing facility on an inpatient basis. When a skilled nursing facility is required just for skilled rehabilitation services, the facility is still deemed daily care, regardless of whether or not therapy services are provided 5 or 6 days a week.
  4. Benefitees must require professional services in order to recover from the medical condition that was treated during their qualifying three-day hospital stay, or to treat a concomitant medical condition. (For example, if you are taken to the hospital as an inpatient due to a stroke and then break your hip while in the hospital, Medicare may reimburse senior rehab treatments for your hip even though they are no longer required for stroke recovery.) In order for skilled services to be considered reasonable and required for the diagnosis or treatment of the beneficiary’s qualifying condition, the doctor must prescribe them.

How Long Does Medicare Pay for Rehab in a SNF?

If a person satisfies all of the standards listed above, the quantity of Medicare coverage they will get will be determined by how long they will be required to remain in the SNF. Medicare coverage diminishes as time passes. Recall that folks with Medigap plans or Medicare Advantage Plans may be able to receive supplemental coverage for elder rehab stays if they qualify.

Costs Under the Medicare 100 Day Rule

  • During the first 20 days of a benefit period, Medicare covers the entire cost of each benefit period. Days 21–100:Medicare covers everything except a daily coinsurance fee. In 2021, the coinsurance rate is $185.50 per day
  • In 2022, the rate is $185.50 per day. Days 101 and beyond: After 100 days, Medicare does not offer funding for rehabilitation. The institution may discharge beneficiaries if they do not pay for any more days totally out of cash, apply for Medicaid coverage, or investigate alternative payment options.

Breaks in Skilled Care

It is possible for recipients to take “breaks” from senior rehab, which might affect their eligibility for insurance coverage. A beneficiary who leaves a skilled nursing facility for less than 30 days and then needs to return for the same medical condition (or one that is related to it) will not be required to complete another qualifying three-day hospital stay in order to be eligible for any additional SNF coverage that may be available during their benefit period. If the gap lasts for more than 60 consecutive days, the benefit term comes to an end, and the beneficiary’s SNF benefits are only extended if they fulfill the standards listed above once again.

Debunking Medicare’s “Improvement Standard”

For many years, senior rehab facilities informed their patients that if their health stopped improving or had “plateaued” within their covered benefit period, Medicare would discontinue paying for skilled nursing care. However, a 2013 federal court settlement resulted in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) admitting that this policy was unsupported: “Medicare has never supported the imposition of this ‘Improvement Standard’ rule-of-thumb in determining whether skilled care is required to prevent or slow deterioration in a patient’s condition.’ ” Consequently, such coverage is not dependent on the beneficiary’s ability to recover, but rather on whether skilled care is necessary, as well as the underlying rationality and necessity of the services in question.

Since 2014, the new Medicare Benefit Policy Manual has incorporated these clarifications, however some senior rehab facilities have not made the necessary changes to ensure that chronic patients have access to the coverage for which they are entitled.

Ensuring Medicare Will Pay for Senior Rehab

Due to the large amount of opportunity for interpretation (and reinterpretation) surrounding the regulations for Medicare coverage, it is easy for families to become perplexed about how to pay for care in skilled nursing facilities. Overall, vigilance and effort are required to ensure that aging loved ones receive the professional care they require and the coverage to which they are legally entitled. Family caregivers must ensure that the hospital professionals and skilled nursing facility staff provide precise orders and explanations for the specialized services that are required to support the health and safety of their loved ones.

A geriatric care manager (GCM) to keep track of your loved one’s nursing home chart and schedule, as well as accompany you to care plan meetings, may prove to be a worthwhile investment.

Even if your loved one’s Medicare coverage has expired during their benefit period, a GCM may assist you in locating and obtaining other forms of financial support as well as different sorts of care for your loved one. Read more about how Geriatric Care Managers can assist busy caregivers.

Other Ways to Pay for Skilled Nursing Care

Other sources of assistance are available to assist with the cost of skilled nursing and related services. If a senior’s income and resources are restricted, he or she may be qualified for the Medicaid program offered by their state. Medicaid offers assistance with the cost of skilled and/or custodial care, drugs, and other medical expenditures for those who qualify. If they are qualified for both Medicare and Medicaid, they are referred to as “dual eligible beneficiaries,” and the majority of their health-care expenses are often paid by the government.

A Note About Medicare Rehab Coverage During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While the coronavirus epidemic is ongoing, Medicare has made some adjustments to its coverage rules for elder rehabilitation treatments. Read more here. At some cases, Medicare beneficiaries may be eligible for senior rehab in a skilled nursing facility without having to begin a new benefit term with the program. Others who are unable to remain in their own homes or who are otherwise harmed by the pandemic may be allowed to receive care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) without first completing a required hospitalization.

Medicare Guidelines for Inpatient Rehab Coverage

  • Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) will cover inpatient rehabilitation if it is medically required following an illness, accident, or surgery provided you meet specific requirements
  • However, if you do not meet these criteria, you will not be covered. In some cases, Medicare mandates a three-day hospital stay before it would pay for rehabilitative services. Inpatient rehabilitation is also covered by Medicare Advantage plans, albeit the coverage rules and expenses differ from plan to plan.

Some accidents, diseases, and procedures may necessitate a period of rehabilitation under the supervision of a medical professional. You can receive Medicare coverage for your treatment in an inpatient rehabilitation center, provided that you satisfy certain criteria. The recommendations presented in this article are for inpatient medical or postsurgical rehabilitation, not for inpatient rehabilitation for substance use disorders (such as alcoholism or drug addiction). You may find out more about Medicare’s treatment standards for drug use disorders by visiting this page.

At addition, you must receive treatment in a facility that has been approved by Medicare.

The specifics of this regulation will be discussed in greater depth later on.

  • Days 1 through 60 are included. In addition to the $1,364 deductible, you will be liable for In the event that you transfer to a rehabilitation center immediately following your hospital stay and satisfy your deductible there, you will not be required to pay another deductible since you will still be in a single benefit period. The same is true if you are admitted to a rehabilitation institution within 60 days of your hospitalization
  • That is, days 61 through 90 after your hospitalization. During this time frame, you will be responsible for a daily coinsurance payment of $341 beginning on Day 91. For each of your lifetime reserve days, you’ll be required to pay $682 in coinsurance. You have a total of 60 reserve days during the course of your life. After you’ve spent them all up, you’re responsible for the rest of the expenses.

Costs with Medicare Advantage

If you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C)plan, your expenses will vary depending on the insurance company you choose. If at all feasible, consult with your plan adviser or insurance provider ahead of time so that you can budget for any out-of-pocket expenses. Tip If you believe you may require long-term care, you should look into the Medicare AdvantageSpecial Needs Plans that are available.

These plans are intended to provide additional benefits to persons who suffer from chronic health issues, as well as those who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Costs with Medigap

Adding Medigap (Medicare supplement) coverage may be able to assist you in covering your coinsurance and deductible expenses. Additional lifetime reserve days are available with some Medigap policies (up to 365 extra days). Using Medicare’s plan finder tool, you may look for plans in your region and compare their coverage options. During inpatient rehabilitation, a team of healthcare specialists will collaborate to assist you in regaining your ability to operate on your own. Your treatment plan will be personalized to your specific problem, however it may contain the following elements:

  • Assistive equipment for orthotic or prosthetic devices
  • Occupational therapy and physical therapy
  • Psychological and social assistance
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A particular area of the hospital, an assisted living home, or a rehabilitation center are all options for those seeking recovery. Medicare pays your rehabilitation services, but it is not designed to be used for long-term nursing home or assisted living. More information regarding Medicare and long-term care homes may be found here. Following the fundamental standards listed here will help to ensure that Medicare will cover your inpatient rehabilitation.

Make sure you’re enrolled in Medicare

You can enroll for the first time during a seven-month period known as the initial enrolment period. During the Medicare open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year, you’ll have the opportunity to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. If you’re considering a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, your enrollment period will run from January 1 through March 31 each year. You may potentially be eligible for a special enrollment period, which will be determined by your specific case.

Confirm your initial hospital stay meets the 3-day rule

Inpatient rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility is covered by Medicare only after a 3-day inpatient stay in a Medicare-approved hospital, according to the organization. It’s critical that your doctor issue an order admitting you to the hospital as quickly as possible. In the event that you have spent a night in the hospital for observation or testing, that night will not be counted against the 3-day minimum. It is necessary that these three days be consecutive, and any time spent in the emergency department prior to your admission is not counted toward the total number of days.

Tip It might be difficult to determine if you have been hospitalized as an inpatient or how long you have been there.

This is a useful tool for assessing whether or not you should be admitted as an inpatient.

If you’re having surgery, check Medicare’s 2020 “inpatient only” list

Some surgical procedures necessitate the use of an inpatient facility at all times. Unlike other surgeries, the 3-day restriction does not apply in this case. Additionally, Medicare will fund your inpatient rehabilitation after the surgery. These procedures can be found on Medicare’s list of procedures that are exclusively available to inpatients. In 2018, Medicare removed complete knee replacements off the list of procedures that may only be performed as an inpatient. In addition, Medicare will no longer cover complete hip replacements starting in 2020.

Consult with your insurance provider if you have a Medicare Advantage plan to determine if your operation will be covered as an inpatient-only treatment.

Tip It is possible that your charges will be greater or cheaper if you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, depending on whether your healthcare providers and rehab facility are in network or out of network with the plan.

Before being admitted to a facility, check with your insurance provider to make sure that it is in network. This will assist in ensuring complete coverage while also maximizing expense savings.

Verify that your doctor’s order includes the required information

In order for Medicare to reimburse your inpatient rehabilitation, your doctor must certify that you require the following services:

  • A medical practitioner is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • You will have many interactions with a doctor during your rehabilitation. the availability of a licensed practical nurse with an expertise in rehabilitation services
  • Therapy for at least 3 hours per day, 5 days per week (although there is some flexibility here)
  • Therapy for at least 3 hours per day, 5 days per week (although there is some flexibility here)
  • Should have a multidisciplinary team of professionals caring for you, including a doctor, a rehabilitation nurse, and at least one therapist

When in doubt, talk with your doctor or call Medicare

Despite the fact that you may not always have early warning of a sudden sickness or accident, it is always a good idea to discuss Medicare coverage with your healthcare provider before undergoing a treatment or inpatient stay, if at all possible. For further assurance that you are following Medicare procedures to the letter, you can call Medicare directly at 800-MEDICARE (800-MEDICARE) (800-633-4227 or TTY: 877-486-2048). Inpatient therapy is focused on achieving specific goals and is rigorous.

We will strive to assist you in recovering and regaining as much functioning as possible during your recovery.

Psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers may also be able to aid you with your mental and emotional well-being if you seek their help.

  • Rebuild your strength and capacity to move
  • Expand your range of motion
  • And reduce discomfort and swelling as a result of your injury.

You may collaborate with an occupational therapist in order to:

  • Learn how to use any medical gadgets that you may require throughout your rehabilitation. While recovering, go out your normal routines of daily living
  • Prepare for life at home once you have been discharged

You may collaborate with a speech and language pathologist to do the following:

  • Become more familiar with your language and practice word retrieval
  • Learn to swallow food and beverages
  • Discover new methods to communicate

If you’ve suffered from one of the following injuries or ailments, inpatient rehabilitation may be necessary:

  • Brain damage, cancer, heart attack, orthopedic surgery, spinal cord injury, and stroke are all possibilities.

After a doctor certifies that you require intense, specialized care to help you recover from a medical condition or surgical operation, both original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans will cover the cost of inpatient rehabilitation services. Inpatient rehabilitative care may be provided in a specialized rehab department inside a hospital, at a skilled nursing facility, or at a rehabilitation clinic or hospital that is independent from the main hospital. In order for Medicare to fund your inpatient rehabilitation, you must fulfill a number of critical requirements.

While you’re in rehabilitation, you’ll be looked for by a team of professionals that will include nurses, physicians, and therapists.

It is possible that the material on this website will be of use to you in making personal insurance decisions; nevertheless, it is not intended to give advise on the purchase, usage, or application of any insurance or insurance products.

Healthline Media does not suggest or support any third-party entities that may be involved in the insurance transaction process.

Does Medicare Cover Rehab?

Following a qualified hospital stay, Medicare Part A covers a range of rehabilitation therapies provided in an inpatient rehabilitation center. Benefits for rehabilitation treatments acquired in a skilled nursing facility are also covered under the Part A insurance plan (SNF).

Please keep in mind that, like other forms of health insurance, Medicare only covers short-term care, defined as care that lasts less than 100 days. Medicare – or any other sort of health insurance – does not provide coverage for long-term care.

What Does Medicare Part A Cover?

The original Medicare program is divided into two parts:

  • Medicare Part A is sometimes referred to as hospital insurance in some circles. Among the types of facilities covered by this policy are hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, mental health facilities, and rehabilitation hospitals. Medicare Part A also contributes to the cost of hospice care
  • Medicare Part B is referred to as medical insurance. Medically essential outpatient services, such as doctor visits, lab work, mental health treatment, and durable medical equipment, are covered under this plan (DME). A number of preventative procedures, such as flu vaccines and mammograms, are covered under the Medicare program. Part B also covers a limited number of prescriptions that must be delivered by a healthcare professional, namely injectable and infused treatments, among other things. There are several exceptions, however, including self-administered drugs, such as those obtained from a pharmacy

Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs, and this is a significant drawback. Medicare Part D is responsible for providing those benefits. Medicare Part D Prescription Medication Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MAPDs) are two options for obtaining prescription drug coverage under the Affordable Care Act (MA-PD).

How Does Medicare Part A Cover Rehabilitation Services?

The rehabilitation treatments covered by Medicare Part A are those that have been declared medically essential by your healthcare practitioner. This is supposing that you have already had a three-day hospital stay that qualifies you for this benefit. In addition, your doctor must conduct the following:

  • Determine whether or if you require rehabilitative care to treat your medical condition. Obtain certification that your condition need ongoing medical monitoring. Assemble a rehabilitation team that includes your family doctor, specialists, nurses and rehabilitation therapists
  • And coordinate your treatment with your team.

As is usually the case, Medicare rehabilitation coverage is contingent on your healthcare providers accepting assignment. In addition to your medical team, the rehabilitation facility you choose must accept Medicare as payment for its services.

What Rehab Services Does Medicare Cover?

You may require inpatient rehabilitation following a medical condition, an acute injury, or surgical procedure, among other things. Assuming you fulfill the requirements, Medicare will pay for the following services for you:

  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology are all examples of therapies. A semi-private room is available. Drugs delivered by your medical provider, which may include nurse practitioners and licensed nurses
  • And Meals
  • Nursing care provided by professionals

Medicare will not reimburse the cost of a private room if it has not been prescribed by your healthcare practitioner as being medically essential. Moreover, Part A will not cover the cost of a private nurse, personal products such as toothpaste that are not included with admission, or the cost of a phone or television in your room.

Where Can You Receive Inpatient Rehabilitative Care If You Have Medicare?

Amounts paid under Part A are used to cover inpatient rehabilitation treatments rendered in any of the following settings:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF)
  • Acute care rehabilitation center
  • Rehabilitation hospital
  • Skilled nursing facility
  • Are all terms used to refer to a type of rehabilitation institution.

Once again, Medicare only pays for short-term rehabilitative care services.

How Much Does Inpatient Rehab Cost with Medicare?

During a benefit period, Medicare Part A expenditures include the $1,566 deductible, as well as coinsurance, which is calculated as follows:

  • $0 for the first 60 days
  • $389 per day for days 61 through 90
  • $778 per day for days 91 through your 60 lifetime reserve days
  • $0 for the first 60 days
  • $389 per day for days 91 through your 60 lifetime reserve days

A benefit period begins on the day you are admitted to the hospital as an inpatient and ends when you are discharged. It comes to an end once you have gone 60 consecutive days without obtaining inpatient treatment. If you attend a rehabilitation center within 60 days after being discharged from the hospital, you will still be eligible for benefits throughout that time period. There is no separate deductible for your rehabilitation, which means you will save money. Coinsurance is calculated differently if you get your Medicare rehab treatments in a skilled nursing facility, as explained here.

  • Medicare will cover all of the charges for days 1 through 20. Days 21 through 100 are subject to a copayment or coinsurance of $194.50 per day
  • Days 101 through 200 are free.

As soon as you reach the milestone of 100 days, Medicare will no longer reimburse skilled nursing care. WARNING: Time spent in the hospital as an outpatient does not count against the three-day minimum. This implies that any time you spend in observation status or as an outpatient at a hospital is not included in the calculation. This is an important distinction since Medicare only supports inpatient rehabilitation following a qualified inpatient hospitalization.

Who Qualifies for Medicare Rehab Coverage?

Medicare Part A is required in order to be eligible for Medicare rehabilitation coverage.

If you are a citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States and at least one of the following conditions applies to you, you may be eligible for Medicare.

  • Are 65 years of age or older
  • For a period of 24 months, you can receive disability payments from either Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Be suffering from either amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, often known as Lou Gehrig’s illness) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD)

For those who meet the requirements for Medicare Part A but have not yet enrolled, you can do so by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website by clickinghere. Despite the fact that the Medicare program is overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), registration is handled by Social Security.

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Rehab?

In order to qualify for Medicare Part C, often known as Medicare Advantage, you must have the same benefits that you have with Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Most Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, include additional benefits. In order to obtain specific information regarding your Advantage plan’s coverage and costs for short-term rehab treatment, please contact the plan’s provider.

Does Medigap Cover Short-Term Rehabilitation?

Medicare Supplement Insurance, more commonly known asMedigap, helps pay a variety of out-of-pocket costs when you have Original Medicare. (You cannot bundle a Medigap plan with a Medicare Advantage plan). There are 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans, each denoted by a letter: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Benefits vary according on the plan you pick. However, at a minimum, every Supplement plan covers the Medicare Part A deductible and offers you an additional 365 lifetime reserve days as a hospital inpatient.

Just input your geographical information to compare Medicare Advantage, Part D, and Medigap plans in your region.

Additional resources

  • Medicare Benefits are available from the Social Security Administration (
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Care is available from
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Providers is available from
  • ClearMatch Medicare:Does Medicare Cover Physical Therapy? ClearMatch Medicare:3 Surprising Conditions Your Physical Therapist Can Treat
  • ClearMatch Medicare:Does Medicare Cover Physical Therapy?

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