The Importance of “Admitted” Patient Status for Medicare

Many families don’t know how crucial it is to demand that the hospital “admits” their loved ones (as opposed to keeping them on “observation” status). If you’re not admitted to the hospital for three nights, Medicare will not cover any post-hospital rehabilitation. Your status in the hospital can affect your health insurance coverage, as well. If you’re on Medicare and have a supplemental health plan, and Medicare doesn’t pay, your supplemental health plan won’t pay either.

Hospitals should never keep a patient on observation status for more than two days, but many hospitals will keep patients on observation for much longer and then send patients to rehab, costing them a huge bill that they must pay out of pocket. If you are “admitted” for three nights prior to being sent to rehab, Medicare pays the bill. Families must understand this issue and take action. For this reason, make sure that you understand the hospital status of your loved one. If they’re keeping you overnight, you need to take action to ensure that you’re admitted, as this will affect how much you will pay out of pocket.

If you have questions about Medicare, Medicaid, or Veterans benefits, consider W.G. Alexander & Associates – we offer a unique blend of asset protection, Elder Law and estate planning. You can also attend our free seminars, learn more through our website at, or call us at (919) 256-7000.

Attorney Bill Alexander discusses these issues and more every Tuesday morning on W.G. Alexander & Associates’ radio program, “Asset Protection Today,” on TalkRadio 850 WPTK (AM). Be sure to listen from 9:00-10:00 AM.