A very dear client sent an email a few months ago regarding hospital admissions, then I received a phone call, and another phone call. It seems the email has made it's rounds and it is becoming a cause for concern.
The email indicates that Medicare has changed the way they determine whether you are a hospital inpatient. Apparently, being admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay doesn't necessarily qualify as an inpatient admission. Now, that part of the email is accurate.
There are times you might be in the hospital for one or even more than one night - but you're considered an outpatient.
Here's where things go wrong. The afore mentioned email indicates if you are admitted as an outpatient, then Medicare won't cover your hospital charges. THAT'S NOT CORRECT! Medicare covers your hospital charges either way. However, an inpatient stay is covered by Medicare part A, while an outpatient stay is covered by Medicare part B. For more detail, Medicare actually has a publication addressing the issue. Click here to download it:
The bottom line is this: If you are enrolled in a Medicare supplement plan or a Medicare advantage plan, then your out-of-pocket is very close to the same in either case.
So, rest easy. And call if you have any questions.
Lonnie Thibodeaux is the owner of Sargent Insurance and Financial Services. He specializes in Medicare health plans and prescription drug plans.