Medicare Part A

4 things to know about Medicare Part A:

  1. It is hospital insurance that covers inpatient hospital care and certain home care services.
  2. It is usually premium free if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.
  3. You must have Part A to enroll in Medicare Part B, Part C, or Part D.
  4. Part A hospital and skilled nursing facility coverage come with deductibles and coinsurance.

Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance coverage. It is one-half of Original Medicare, which consists of Part A and Part B.

Part A is premium free for most people, and you may be automatically enrolled when you turn 65.

Benefits

Part A is considered hospital insurance. It covers a wide variety of services, including the following:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Hospice care
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Certain limited home health services

Costs

Medicare Part A costs come in the forms of premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Medicare Part A premium

Most people do not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A coverage, according to Medicare.gov.** The Part A premium will be free if any of the following applies to you:

  • You already get Social Security benefits or benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).
  • You are eligible for benefits through Social Security or the RRB but have not filed for them.
  • You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.

If you do have to pay the Part A premium, it can be up to $437 each month in 2019.

Medicare Part A deductibles and coinsurance

You may need to pay deductibles or copayments to get certain Part A services covered.

Hospital stay deductibles and copayment (2019):

  • $1,364 deductible per benefit period
  • First 60 days: No copayment
  • Days 61-90: $341 copayment per day
  • Days 90+: $682 copayment per "lifetime reserve day"
  • Days 90+ if you have no reserve days: Medicare covers nothing

Skilled nursing facility stay deductibles and co-payments:

  • First 20 days: No copayments
  • Days 21-100: $170.50 co-payments per day
  • Days 100+: Medicare covers nothing