With Medicare, a benefit period begins the day you’re admitted to the hospital and ends when you’ve been out of the hospital for 60 days in a row.[1][2]

Benefit periods are important, for example, with Part A cost-sharing where your costs related to inpatient hospital care differ by benefit period. For an example of how benefit periods work, here is the 2019 Part A cost-sharing by benefit period for 2019:

  • $1,364 deductible for each benefit period.
  • Days 1–60: $0 coinsurance for each benefit period.
  • Days 61–90: $341 coinsurance per day of each benefit period.
  • Days 91 and beyond: $682 coinsurance per each “lifetime reserve day” after day 90 for each benefit period (up to 60 days over your lifetime).
  • Beyond lifetime reserve days: all costs.
Citations

  1. What Is a Medicare Hospital Benefit Period? AARP.org.
  2. Inpatient hospital care Medicare.Gov.