Lifetime Reserve Days

by David Bynon, last updated

What are Lifetime Reserve Days?

Medicare Part A covers up to 90 days of inpatient care per benefit period. Beneficiaries get an additional 60 days of coverage known as lifetime reserve days. Lifetime reserve days can be used once. Beneficiaries pay a coinsurance for each one used.

Key Takeaways

  • Part A beneficiaries begin using their lifetime reserve days after the first 90 days of their benefit period.
  • Beneficiaries only get 60 lifetime reserve days in their entire life.
  • A coinsurance is paid for each lifetime reserve day ($742 per day in 2021).
  • Medicare supplement plans provide an additional 365 lifetime reserve days.

How Many Lifetime Reserve Days Do Beneficiaries Get?

Medicare beneficiaries have a total of 60 lifetime reserve days. These days are consumed starting on the 91st day of inpatient care of a benefit period. Lifetime reserve days do not renew upon starting a new inpatient benefit period. Once they are spent, they are gone, “Inpatient hospital care“, Accessed October 25, 2021

How Much Do Lifetime Reserve Days Cost?

A lifetime reserve day’s coinsurance is one-half of the inpatient hospital deductible ($742 per day in 2021). Medicare pays all approved costs for a beneficiary’s inpatient care minus the daily, “Medicare costs at a glance“, Accessed October 25, 2021

Can Beneficiaries Get More Lifetime Reserve Days?

All 10 standardized Medigap plans (Medicare supplement insurance) pay the lifetime reserve day coinsurance. They also cover hospital inpatient costs for up to an additional 365 days after a beneficiary’s lifetime reserve days are used, “How to compare Medigap policies“, Accessed October 25, 2021


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