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What is Medicare Part A?

What is Medicare Part A?

| May 29, 2020

Medicare Part A is your hospital insurance and is one part of Original Medicare. The other being Part B.  Medicare Part A is coverage managed by the federal government.

Who is eligible? Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older, certain people under 65 with disabilities, and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). 

What is the monthly premium?  Most people get Part A for free, but some must pay a premium for this coverage.

To be eligible for premium-free Part A:

  • An individual must have at least 40 calendar quarters of coverage (QC's) of work in any job where you paid Social Security taxes in the U.S. Based on their earnings or those of a spouse, parent, or child. 
  • Are eligible for Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits
  • You may also be eligible for premium-free Part A if you were a federal employee any time after December 31, 1982, or a state or local employee any time after March 31, 1986.
  • If you do not meet the criteria listed above, you will likely pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A coverage.
In 2020, your monthly Part A premium will be:
$0 - If you or your spouse worked for 40 quarters (10 years) or more or you were a federal employee on January 1, 1983, or a state or local employee anytime after March 31, 1986.
$240 - If you or your spouse worked between 30 and 39 quarters (7.5 and 10 years)
$437 - If you or your spouse worked fewer than 30 quarters (7.5 years)
    • If your income is low, you may be eligible for the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program, which pays for your Medicare Part A and B premiums and other Medicare costs.

Are there any additional costs?  There are costs associated with this service. Here is the general idea of how it works. Medicare Part A has a per occurrence deductible. Meaning this deductible may need to be met multiple times in one calendar year. The Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible that beneficiaries will pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,408 in 2020. This mount can change on an annual basis.

What does Medicare Part A cover?  In general, Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, nursing home care (inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility that's not custodial or long-term care), hospice care, and some home health care.

           There are 2 ways to find out if Medicare covers your needs:

    1. Talk to your doctor or other health care provider about why you need certain services or supplies. Ask them if Medicare will cover them. Your provider may think that Medicare won't cover it in your situation even though it is something that you may need. If so, you'll have to read and sign a notice that says that you may have to pay for the item, service, or supply.
    2. Go to the Medicare website and type in your service. Here is a direct link. Is my test, item, or service covered?

How do you sign up for Medicare Part A? You will automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B when you're first eligible and don't need to sign up. Medicare will send you a "Welcome to Medicare" packet 3 months before you turn 65. This packet will include more material than that just about Part A; as there will be other important deadlines and calls to action, so read all the materials in the packet. 

Have more Medicare questions? Come back and search my blogs. 

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