Original Medicare contains two parts — Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Part A is hospital insurance and can be thought of as “room and board” for inpatient hospital stays.
What does Medicare Part A cover?
- Inpatient Hospital Care includes coverage for all care received following hospital admission, up to 90 days per benefit period. It provides 60 lifetime reserve days and 190 total days of coverage in approved psychiatric hospitals.
- Skilled Nursing Facility Care: This includes room, board, and some services received from a skilled nursing facility (SNF). It also provides coverage for some medications, wound care, and tube feeding. Beneficiaries receive 100 days of SNF care per benefit period. This coverage only applies if the individual was first admitted to a hospital for a minimum of three days.
- Home Health Care: This service is typically covered under Medicare Part B. However, Part A will provide coverage if the individual spent three consecutive days in a hospital within the prior two weeks. Part A provides 100 days of home health care per benefit period.
- Hospice Care: This type of care has no restrictions on time, but will only be covered as long as a provider deems it necessary.
Am I eligible for Medicare Part A?
Every United States citizen qualifies for Medicare Part A upon turning 65. Permanent legal residents of five years, younger individuals with certain disabilities, and those with End-Stage Renal Disease or Lou Gehrig’s Disease also qualify. Individuals already collecting retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board will automatically be enrolled in Medicare.
How much does it cost?
Most Medicare beneficiaries qualify for Medicare Part A at no cost. Individuals who have paid Medicare taxes for 10 years – or 40 quarters – or whose spouse has done so, will receive Part A with no annual premium.
Those who have not met this requirement can still purchase Part A for a premium as long as they qualify for Medicare. Speak with one of our agents to find out the current cost to purchase Part A.