Medicare Part A

What Does Medicare Part A Cover?

Medicare Part A is "hospital" insurance and it helps cover:

  • Inpatient care in a hospital

  • Inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care)

  • Hospice care

  • Home health care

  • Inpatient care in a religious non-medical healthcare institution.

Relying only on Part A can be risky, since it does not offer full health care coverage. With this coverage, it's also recommended that you enroll in Medicare Part B ("doctor" insurance) to cover your regular health care visits and needs. Coupled together, Part A and Part B are often referred to as Original Medicare.

Who is Eligible for Medicare Part A?

Coverage is available when you turn 65 or if you meet at least one of these criteria:

  • Already getting benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)

  • Under 65 and have a disability

  • Have ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig's disease)

When Do You Get Medicare Part A?

You will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B when you turn 65. Social Security will send you your Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday or your 25th month of disability. You don't have to take any action to keep your coverage. You do have the option to drop Part B and only keep Part A, but it's not recommended.

What Does Medicare Part A Cost?

You usually don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.

Important Reminders about Part A:
While Medicare Part A is often premium-free, it does not offer full coverage. Additional coverage is often needed to reduce your out-of-pocket costs and minimize financial risk. You can get additional coverage through Medicare Part B, Part C or Part D.

doctor reassuring hospital patient
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