2020 Medicare Part A Coverage and Costs

Original Medicare is made up of two parts: Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Medicare Part A is also known as hospital insurance and helps cover costs related to inpatient hospital care.

Doctor smiles and speaks with family visiting a patient in hopsital

What does Medicare Part A cover?

Some examples of the types of services covered under Medicare Part A include:

  • Hospital care
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice
  • Limited home health services

How much does Medicare Part A cost?

Most people do not pay a monthly premium for Part A, as long as they paid sufficient Medicare taxes while working. If you must pay a Part A premium, it can cost up to $458 a month in 2020.

Although Medicare Part A helps cover some hospital costs, it leaves some costs to you. Some of these costs can include the Part A deductible and Part A coinsurance.

Part A deductible

In 2020, the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,408 per benefit period.

Benefit periods are based on how long you’ve been discharged from the hospital. A benefit period under Medicare Part A begins the day you’re admitted to the hospital and ends when you’ve been discharged for at least 60 days.

If you’ve been out of the hospital for more than 60 days and are admitted again, a new benefit period begins. You could potentially be required to meet your Part A deductible multiple times in a given calendar year.

Part A coinsurance

The Medicare Part A coinsurance amounts in 2020 are as follows:

  • $0 for days 1-60 spent in the hospital
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  • $352 per day for days 61-90 spent in the hospital
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  • $704 per each “lifetime reserve day” for days 91 and beyond spent in the hospital
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  • 100% of costs beyond “lifetime reserve days” (you have 60 lifetime reserve days)

What does Medicare Part A not cover?

Medicare Part A does not cover doctor’s visits, preventive care or medical equipment. For coverage of these types of services, you must enroll in Medicare Part B (medical insurance).

Neither Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B cover:

  • Prescription drugs
    For prescription drug coverage, you must enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D) or a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) that offers prescription drug coverage.
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  • Vision care
    Original Medicare does not cover routine eye exams or prescription glasses, but some Medicare Advantage plans cover vision care.
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  • Dental care
    Original Medicare does not cover routine dental exams or dental procedures. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer dental benefits.
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  • Hearing services or hearing aids
    Original Medicare does not cover routine hearing exams or hearing aids, but some Medicare Advantage plans offer hearing coverage.

Medicare Advantage plans can offer hospital insurance plus additional benefits

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies as an alternative to Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage provides the same coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B, and some plans offer benefits that aren’t offered by Original Medicare, such as prescription drug, vision and dental coverage.

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