Part A Deductible & Coinsurance Costs 2021
How long your benefit period lasts and lifetime reserve days also covered.
What Is the Medicare Part A Deductible for 2021?
For 2021, the Medicare Part A deductible amount is $1,484. This amount has increased by $76 from the 2020 Part A deductible amount, which was $1,408. Your Medicare Part A deductible applies to costs for inpatient hospital care (i.e. when you are admitted to a hospital).
Once you cover the Part A deductible amount, your Medicare coverage kicks in and begins covering costs for the first 60 days of your benefit period for Medicare-approved inpatient hospital care.
How Long Does a Benefit Period Last?
Medicare uses benefit periods as a way to measure your use of covered services. Your Part A benefit period will begin on the day that you’re admitted as either an inpatient at a hospital or skilled nursing facility.
After your benefit period has begun, it will officially end once you haven’t received any inpatient hospital care or skilled nursing facility care for 60 days in a row.
Once your benefit period ends, the next time you’re admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility will mark the beginning of a new benefit period. You will once again be responsible for the Part A deductible and any potential coinsurance costs that may apply if you surpass 60 days during your stay.
We’ll cover how these coinsurance costs apply in the next section.
What Are the Medicare Part A Coinsurance Costs for 2021?
In addition to the Part A deductible, there are coinsurance costs that may apply to your inpatient hospital care, as well. While days 1 – 60 of each benefit period are without any coinsurance costs, days 61 – 90 see a coinsurance cost of $371 per day. This amount has increased by $19 from the 2020 amount of $352.
After 90 days, you have an additional 60 days of coverage known as lifetime reserve days. Your lifetime reserve days come with a coinsurance cost of $742 per day. This amount has increased by $38 from the 2020 amount of $704.
Note, however, that lifetime reserve days can only be used once (i.e. they do not renew with a new benefit period). So, if you have used up your lifetime reserve days, you’ll be responsible for all costs starting with day 91 and beyond.
For Medicare beneficiaries receiving care in a skilled nursing facility, the first 20 days of your benefit period are without any coinsurance costs.
Starting with day 21 and lasting until day 100, there is a coinsurance cost of $185.50 per day. This amount has increased $9.50 from the 2020 amount of $176.
After day 100 (i.e. day 101 and beyond), you’ll be responsible for all costs.
How Many Lifetime Reserve Days Do I Have?
Every Medicare beneficiary receives 60 lifetime reserve days. However, it’s important to note that these reserve days can only be used once.
So, say for example that you had a Medicare-approved inpatient hospital stay that lasted 100 days, because Part A only covers the first 90 days of an inpatient stay, you have used up 10 of your lifetime reserve days during this stay.
Going forward, if you start a new benefit period with another inpatient hospital stay, you’ll only have 50 lifetime reserve days remaining were you to again exceed the first 90 days that are covered. Once you run out of lifetime reserve days, you’ll be responsible for all costs incurred starting on day 91 and onward.
Medicare: Costs at a Glance