4 things to know about Medicare Part A:
- It’s hospital insurance that covers inpatient hospital care and certain home care.
- It’s usually free if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. If not, it costs up to $411 each month.
- Hospital and skilled nursing facility stays come with deductibles and co-insurance.
- If you want Medicare Parts B, C, or D, you must have Part A.
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.
Part A is considered hospital insurance and covers services from in-home care to inpatient hospital care. Here’s an overview of 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. 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.
Most people don’t have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A, according to Medicare.gov. If you do have to pay for Part A, it can cost up to $411 each month.
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 Part A, you may need to pay deductibles or co-insurance to get certain services covered.
Hospital stay: deductibles and co-insurance
- $1,288 deductible per benefit period
- First 60 days: No co-insurance
- Days 61-90: $322 co-insurance per day
- Days 90+: $644 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: $161 co-insurance per day
- Days 100+: Medicare covers nothing
If you don’t want to have to pay for deductibles or co-insurance, read about Medicare Supplement insurance. It can help you fill in the coverage gaps.