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Medicare Part A

4 things to know about Medicare Part A:

  1. Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that covers inpatient hospital care and certain home care.
  2. Medicare Part A is usually free if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. If not, it can cost up to $413 each month in 2017.
  3. Hospital and skilled nursing facility stays come with deductibles and co-insurance.
  4. If you want Medicare Parts B, C, or D, you must have Part A.

Medicare Part A provides inpatient hospital insurance coverage. It is one-half of Original Medicare, which consists of parts A & B. You may be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A when you turn 65.

What does Medicare Part A cover?

Part A is considered hospital insurance and covers services from in-home care to inpatient hospital care. Medicare Part A helps cover the following health insurance benefits:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Hospice care
  • At-home part-time skilled nursing care
  • At-home physical therapy
  • Inpatient care at a religious non-medical health care facility
  • Blood transfusions after the first 3 pints of blood

The list above is only part of the covered items provided by Medicare Part A. Explore all of the services covered by Medicare Part A insurance.

Medicare Part A costs

Medicare Part A costs come in the forms of premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance.

Premiums

Most people don’t have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A. If you do have to pay for Part A, it can cost up to $413 each month in 2017.

Part A will be free for you when you turn 65 if any of the following apply to you:

  • You already get Social Security benefits or benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
  • You’re eligible for benefits through Social Security or the RRB but haven’t yet filed for them
  • You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment

Deductibles and co-insurance

When you have Medicare Part A, you may need to pay deductibles or co-insurance to get certain services covered.

Hospital stay: deductibles and co-insurance

  • $1,316 deductible per benefit period in 2017
  • First 60 days: No co-insurance
  • Days 61-90: $329 (2017) co-insurance per day
  • Days 90+: $658 (2017) co-insurance per “lifetime reserve day”
  • Days 90+ if you have no reserve days: Medicare covers nothing

Skilled nursing facility stay: deductibles and co-insurance

  • First 20 days: No co-insurance
  • Days 21-100: $164.50 co-insurance per day in 2017
  • Days 100+: Medicare covers nothing

If you don’t want to have to pay for deductibles or co-insurance, Medicare Supplement insurance (also called Medigap) can help you fill in the coverage gaps.

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