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Medicare Stroke Treatment Coverage: What Benefits Are There for Stroke Victims?

Stroke treatment can be expensive, but a Medicare plan can help you lower the costs. Call our licensed insurance agents today at (800) 950-0608 to learn more about Medicare plans available in your area.

Just the Essentials:

  • Original Medicare will pay for medically necessary hospitalization and inpatient rehabilitation to treat a stroke.

  • Medicare will only cover a certain number of days in a hospital or inpatient rehab facility before you are required to start paying out of pocket.

  • Medicare will not cover long-term care required as a result of worsening health caused by a stroke.

  • Medicare Part B will cover the cost of purchasing a walker for stroke patients.

  • Medicare Advantage plans may cover more costs for stroke patients than Original Medicare.

You Need Vital Stroke Treatment - Can Medicare Help?

Suffering a stroke can be one of the most catastrophic events you ever face in your life. The damage that even a mild stroke can do to the body and the brain is immense. To retain even the slightest fraction of normal function in the aftermath, you’ll need numerous stroke treatments, and the healing process can take years.

Stroke treatment can be incredibly costly, and if you require regular therapy, those costs can mount up quickly. If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, you may be able to get some help mitigating those costs.

At MedicareInsurance.com, we strive to be a resource that provides you with helpful, up-to-date information regarding the benefits available to you through Medicare plans. Today, we’re going to be discussing what types of stroke treatment Medicare may or may not cover.

What Are the Symptoms of Stroke?

Most of you are aware of the most common signs that someone is having a stroke. Some of the symptoms of stroke that are easiest to notice include: 

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in certain extremities, such as the face or arm, typically on one side of your body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one eye, or in both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no typical cause.

If you suspect that someone is having a stroke, or that you yourself are having a stroke, it’s important to see a medical professional as soon as possible. You have a better chance of recovery aided by stroke treatments if a stroke is recognized or diagnosed within the first 3 hours that the first symptoms of stroke appear. 

To best identify whether or not someone is having a stroke, use the F.A.S.T. method:

  • F – Face: Have the person smile. Does one side of their face droop?
  • A – Arms: Have the person raise their arms. Does one drift down?
  • S – Speech: Have the person repeat an easy sentence. Is their speech slurred or “off”?
  • T – Time: If you notice any of the above symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately!

However, not all strokes present with these symptoms. Certain strokes, known as silent strokes, can present with symptoms that appear to be those of different conditions. Some of the most common symptoms of silent strokes include:

  • Lapses in memory
  • Slight changes in mood
  • Brief issues with balance or ability to move one’s arms and/or legs

If you’ve experienced those symptoms on a regular basis, visit a primary care physician. They can help you determine whether or not you’ve had silent strokes and will help you get the treatment that you need.

What Types of Treatment for Stroke are Covered by Medicare?

If you’re a beneficiary of Original Medicare, you’ll find that Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B cover a variety of stroke treatments. For instance, if your stroke requires hospitalization, Medicare Part A will cover so many days of hospitalization. However, if you’re released from the hospital in less than 60 days, you’ll be responsible for paying the Medicare Part A deductible of $1,556.

You can also receive Medicare coverage for rehab after a stroke. If inpatient rehabilitation is deemed medically necessary, Original Medicare will help cover inpatient rehabilitation for around 150 days: 90 days plus a “lifetime reserve” of 60 days after. If you have to stay beyond that 150 days, you’ll be responsible for covering all costs of rehabilitation. During your stay, you can expect to receive 3 hours of therapy a day per minimum of 5 days per week.

Finally, if you are moved to a skilled nursing facility for extra care, Medicare Part A will help cover your stay for around 100 days. In order to qualify for assistance with your stay through Original Medicare, you must have a 3-day qualifying stay and a Medigap plan to help cover additional costs. During your stay, you’ll receive 1 hour per day of covered therapy, including speech and language therapy.

For those who require the use of a walker to help with mobility, Medicare Part B will help you cover the cost. In order to have the cost of your walker covered by Medicare Part B, you will need to have a prescription from your doctor for the walker.

What Types of Stroke Treatment Will Original Medicare Not Cover?

While Original Medicare will cover a number of stroke treatments, there are some that it will not cover. For instance, if your doctor deems that you require long-term care as a result of worsening health because of your stroke, Original Medicare will not cover it. Long-term care isn’t covered because certain services fall under that umbrella that Medicare does not deem medically necessary, such as:

  • Bathing
  • Feeding
  • Assistance with toileting

Original Medicare also will not cover certain mobility aids or prescription medications that serve as treatments for stroke victims.

How Can I Get Help Paying for Stroke Treatments that Original Medicare Will Not Cover?

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get help with paying for stroke treatments if you have suffered a stroke. There are numerous Medicare Advantage plans out there that will help cover what Original Medicare does not. Medicare Part D Prescription Drug coverage can help you pay for necessary medications, and Medigap supplemental coverage can help you cover any “gaps” that are left in Original Medicare coverage.

Do you need help finding a Medicare Advantage plan that offers more comprehensive coverage of stroke treatments? If so, you’ve come to the right place! If you’re just looking to discover and compare plans, enter your zip code into our free plan finder below to get started. If you have questions about Medicare Advantage plans, give our experienced, licensed agents a call today at (800) 950-0608. We’re always happy to help!

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