Product Learn Centers
We make it easy to compare and buy insurance.LEARN MORE
Medicare Part A is in-patient or hospital insurance. It broadly covers care at hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes and hospices. It also covers certain home health services.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed to cover Americans 65 and older and some younger Americans with disabilities. Medicare comes in four Parts: A, B, C and D. Here’s what you need to know about Medicare Part A.
Medicare Part A is in-patient or hospital insurance. It broadly covers care at hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes and hospices. It also covers certain home health services. Medicare Part A, when combined with Medicare Part B (outpatient or physician insurance) is known as Original Medicare.
Medicare Part C is a private alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage.
You can shop for Medicare Part C or Medicare Part D after you enroll in Original Medicare. (Our partner Via Benefits can help you compare Medicare plans in your area.)
Medicare Part A covers the following at acute care, critical access or long-term care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation centers:
In addition to the items above, Medicare Part A covers the following at nursing homes:
Inpatient treatment at psychiatric hospitals and as part of clinical research studies is also covered by Medicare Part A.
Medicare Part A does not cover the following at acute care, critical access or long-term care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation centers:
Medicare Part A also doesn’t cover outpatient services. That falls to Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient and preventative screenings and services. Think of it as doctor insurance. The following chart illustrates what type of services each Part covers.
Medicare Part A vs. Medicare Part B
|Company||Medicare Part A||Medicare Part B|
|Nursing home stays||X|
Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B work in tandem. You enroll in both and can elect to sub in with Medicare Part C (a private alternative for outpatient coverage) or Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage).
All enrollees pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. It is usually $134, but climbs higher, depending on income. There’s also a separate annual deductible of $183 and 20% coinsurance for services covered by Medicare Part B.
You are eligible for Medicare Part A once you turn 65 years old if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You can also qualify for Medicare Part A if you are under 65, but receiving federal disability benefits for a period of time, usually 24 months.
For Medicare to cover specific bills, the following must happen:
You can see what hospitals accept Medicare and what specific services are covered on Medicare.gov. You can also talk to your doctor or health care provider about whether a service or treatment they are recommending is traditionally covered by Medicare.
If you’re getting retirement benefits or are eligible for retirement benefits, Medicare Part A has a $0 monthly premium payment. The same rule applies if you’re under 65 and on federal disability for 24 months or diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease. Americans who are eligible for Medicare, but not other federal benefits, can still get coverage for a premium up to $422 each month.
Medicare Part A comes with a $1,340 deductible (the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before coverage kicks in) for each benefit period. A benefit period begins the day you’re admitted to a hospital and ends once you haven’t received in-hospital care for 60 days. Medicare recipients also pay coinsurance, but the amount varies, depending on how long you’re in the hospital. Here’s the basic breakdown:
Days 1-60: $0 per day each benefit period Days 61-90: $335 per day each benefit period Days 91 or longer: $670 for each "lifetime reserve day" after day 90 each benefit period. You get 60 lifetime reserve days while on Medicare. After lifetime reserve days: all costs
Learn more about the total cost of Medicare here.
If you’re on federal retirement benefits, you get automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B on the first day of the month you turn 65. If you are on federal disability benefits, you get automatically enrolled at 24 months.
Otherwise, you will need to enroll yourself. You can apply by visiting your local Social Security office, calling Medicare at 1-800-772-1213 or simply filling out an application online at the Social Security Administration website. Here is step-by-step guide to applying for Medicare.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
Security you can trust
Yes, we have to include some legalese down here. Read it larger on our legal page. Policygenius Inc. (“Policygenius”) is a licensed independent insurance broker. Policygenius does not underwrite any insurance policy described on this website. The information provided on this site has been developed by Policygenius for general informational and educational purposes. We do our best efforts to ensure that this information is up-to-date and accurate. Any insurance policy premium quotes or ranges displayed are non-binding. The final insurance policy premium for any policy is determined by the underwriting insurance company following application. Savings are estimated by comparing the highest and lowest price for a shopper in a given health class. For example: for a 30-year old non-smoker male in South Carolina with excellent health and a preferred plus health class, comparing quotes for a $500,000, 20-year term life policy, the price difference between the lowest and highest quotes is 60%. For that same shopper in New York, the price difference is 40%. Rates are subject to change and are valid as of 2/17/17.
Copyright Policygenius © 2014-2019