By Jane M. Orient, M.D.
“Bernie might think he had been admitted—say he had an IV in a hospital room. But if he gets discharged before his second midnight, he might be classified as an outpatient, which is covered under Medicare Part B, and get a “surprise” bill for thousands of dollars, because of the “Two-Midnight Rule.”
Or Bernie might expect to have a little rehab after an orthopedic procedure, but if he is in hospital for fewer than three midnights, rehab isn’t covered. He might have the choice of paying out of pocket, or going home where he will be alone, unable to get out of bed.
Yes, Bernie on Medicare will have free choice of doctors—except for the ones who aren’t accepting Medicare patients.
If Bernie himself were stuck on Medicare with no way out, he might think it not so wonderful. Has anyone heard him tell people about these Medicare problems?
Maybe he means the Canadian medicare system. It does have a way out for non-senators—called the United States.”