Religious non-medical health care institution items & services

Medicare may cover items and services in religious nonmedical health care institutions (RNHCIs) only if you qualify for hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF) care. Medicare will also only cover the inpatient non-religious, non-medical items and services, like room and board, unmedicated wound dressings, or use of a simple walker (items or services that don’t require a doctor’s order or prescription).

Medicare doesn’t cover the religious portion of this type of care. However, Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient non-religious, non-medical care when all 3 of these conditions are met:

  1. The religious nonmedical health care institution is currently certified to participate in Medicare.
  2. The religious nonmedical health care institution Utilization Review Committee agrees that you would require hospital or SNF care if you weren’t in the religious nonmedical health care institution.
  3. You've filed a written election that states:
  • You qualify for this type of care based on both your medical needs and your religious beliefs.
  • Your election will be cancelled if you accept standard medical care. 
If you file and cancel an election twice, and then file again, you’ll have to wait 1 year from your second cancellation date for the third election to take effect. If you file elections more than 3 times, the effective date for each new election will be 5 years after your most recent cancellation date.

You're always able to get medically necessary Part A services.

Your costs in Original Medicare
  • $1,556  deductible [glossary] for each benefit period .
  • Days 1–60: $0 coinsurance for each benefit period.
  • Days 61–90: $389 coinsurance per day of each benefit period.
  • Days 91 and beyond: $778 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.
You pay for private-duty nursing, a television, or a phone in your room. You pay for a private room unless it's medically necessary.
Things to know

Religious beliefs prohibit your use of conventional and unconventional medical care in religious nonmedical health care institutions.


Some Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover - like vision, hearing, or dental. Contact the plan for more information.

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