Medicare Part A
4 things to know about Medicare Part A:
- It is hospital insurance that covers inpatient hospital care and certain home care services.
- It is usually free if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.
- You must have Part A to enroll in Medicare Parts B, C, or D.
- Part A hospital and skilled nursing facility coverage come with deductibles and co-insurance.
Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance coverage. It is one-half of Original Medicare, which consists of Parts A and B.
Part A is free for most people, and you may be automatically enrolled when you turn 65.
Part A is considered hospital insurance. It covers a wide variety of services, including the following:
- Inpatient hospital care
- Hospice care
- At-home part-time skilled nursing care
- Inpatient care at a religious non-medical health care facility
- Blood transfusions after the first 3 pints of blood
The full list of covered benefits can be found on the Medicare.gov website.
Medicare Part A costs come in the forms of premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance.
Medicare Part A premium
Most people do not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A coverage, according to Medicare.gov. The Part A premium will be free if any of the following applies to you:
- You already get Social Security benefits or benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).
- You are eligible for benefits through Social Security or the RRB but have not filed for them.
- You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.
If you do have to pay the Part A premium, it can be up to $407 each month.
Medicare Part A deductibles and co-insurance
You may need to pay deductibles or co-payments to get certain Part A services covered.
Hospital stay deductibles and co-payment (2015):
- $1,260 deductible per benefit period
- First 60 days: No co-payment
- Days 61-90: $315 co-payment per day
- Days 90+: $630 co-payment per "lifetime reserve day"
- Days 90+ if you have no reserve days: Medicare covers nothing
Skilled nursing facility stay deductibles and co-payments:
- First 20 days: No co-payments
- Days 21-100: $157.50 co-payments per day
- Days 100+: Medicare covers nothing
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Last Updated: 8/16/2016