Medicare Part A
What is Medicare Part A?
Medicare Part A is the hospital insurance part of Medicare. Generally speaking, Medicare Part A covers expenses incurred if you are hospitalized, but it also covers post-hospital care in a skilled nursing facility, and short-term in home care after a hospital stay when medically necessary.
Please do not confuse this with Long Term Care. Medicare does not cover long term custodial care in a nursing facility.
When Do I enroll in Medicare Part A?
Many people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A when they turn 65. As long as you are currently receiving Social Security benefits the card will show up in your mailbox 2-3 months before your 65th birthday. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits you will need to take action to sign up for Medicare Part A.
How much does it cost?
Medicare Part A typically does not have any premium as long as you have worked for 10 years or 40 quarters and paid into the system. For those who don’t qualify to get Medicare Part A at no cost the premiums can be as much as $413 per month.
What does Medicare Part A cover?
Most people generally think that Medicare covers 80% and while that is true for Medicare Part B, Medicare Part A has a very specific deductible/co-pay structure for your benefits. Since CMS determines the cost sharing amounts for Medicare these numbers can (and usually do) change each year. For 2017 the cost-sharing amounts are:
$1316 deductible for a hospital stay of 60 days or less. *If you are admitted to the hospital again within 60 days of being released the number of days will not reset.
$329 coinsurance for days 61-90 of a hospital stay
$658 coinsurance for days 90-150 (60 Lifetime reserve days)
Medicare Part A pays 100% for the first 20 days in a Skilled nursing facility but has a copay of $164.50 for days 21-100.
Medicare Part A also covers nearly 100% of the costs associated with Hospice care