Stents are coated with a polymer such that the polymeric coating binds the crossover points of the wires, or, in the case of a zig-zag stent, binds adjacent zig-zags of wires without occluding the interstices of the stent lattice. Suitable polymers include polyurethane, polycarbonate urethane, polyurethane urea, silicone rubber, polyisobutylene copolymer (with styrene, etc.), polyolefin, polyester, glycolated polyester, polyamide, amorphous polyamide, combinations of the above and the like. Biodegradable polymers such as polyisobuterate, polyvalerate, polylactic acid, polyglycolic acid and combinations of these are also suitable. The polymer can be reacted in place without a solvent, such as two component polyurethanes, or silicone rubbers, or the reacted polymer can be dissolved in an appropriate solvent, for example, dimethylacetamide for the polyurethanes, toluene for the polyolefins, or heptane for the silicone rubbers. In order to enhance bonding of the polymer to the stent wires, the metallic stent can be primed prior to coating. The hoop strength of a polymer coated stent is improved due to locking of the crossover points and preventing free motion of the stent wires relative to each other.