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Medicare Coverage for Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation (also called rehab) is a treatment program to help you recover from an illness or injury. It helps you relearn the skills of everyday life. You may learn new ways to:

  • eat, cook, dress, or bathe
  • exercise to improve your strength and balance
  • improve your ability to remember things or solve problems
  • listen, read, speak, and write.

When is rehab needed?

You may need rehab if you have:

  • a stroke or other type of paralysis
  • an injury that makes it hard to do everyday tasks
  • surgery
  • a vision problem, like blindness.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal government program. It provides healthcare coverage for people 65 and older. It also provides coverage for people of any age who have certain disabilities.

Medicare is divided into 2 parts: Part A and Part B. Each part covers different services. Both parts pay some of the costs for needed medical services. Rules about what Medicare covers can be confusing. Rules also change from time to time. Your local Social Security office can answer your questions about Medicare.

Does Medicare cover rehab?

Medicare Part A covers care in a hospital rehab unit. Medicare may pay for rehab in a skilled nursing facility in some cases.

After you have been in a hospital for at least 3 days, Medicare will pay for inpatient rehab for up to 100 days in a benefit period. A benefit period starts when you go into the hospital. It ends when you have not received any hospital care or skilled nursing care for 60 days.

Medicare pays for the first 20 days at 100%. For the next 80 days, you must pay a daily co-payment. Medicare does not pay for rehab after 100 days.

If you go into the hospital for at least 3 days after one benefit period has ended, a new benefit period starts. You can have as many benefit periods as you need.

For more information, call Medicare toll-free at 1-800-638-6833.

Written by Carolyn Norrgard, RNC, BA, MEd; Carol Matheis-Kraft, PhD, RNC; and Mercedes Bern-Klug, MSW, MA, for RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-07-07
Last reviewed: 2011-07-05
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2011 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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