Medicare Part A

by Steve Wilson · 0 comments

Medicare Part A

Coverage for hospital inpatient care

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that pays for inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.

How much does Medicare Part A cost?

Most people don’t have to pay a monthly premium for Part A because they or a spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. If you don’t get premium-free Part A, you may be able to buy it if:

  • You or your spouse aren’t entitled to Social Security, because you didn’t work or didn’t pay enough Medicare taxes while you worked and are age 65 or older
  • You are disabled but no longer get free Part A because you returned to work

If you have limited income and resources, your state may help you pay for Part A coverage.

For more information, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. If you have a speech or hearing impairment and use TTY, call 1-800-325-0778, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Not sure if you have Medicare Part A?
Take a look at your red, white, and blue Medicare card. If you have Part A, “Hospital (Part A)” is printed on the lower left corner of your card.

sample Medicare card

Look for the coverages in the bottom left-hand corner.

What services does Medicare Part A cover?

Inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals and mental health centers

  • Semiprivate room and meals
  • General nursing
  • Other hospital services and supplies

Inpatient services not covered:

  • Private duty nursing
  • In-room televisions or telephones
  • Private rooms, unless medically necessary

Inpatient mental healthcare in a psychiatric facility is limited to 190 days in a lifetime. Skilled nursing facility care, following a related three-day inpatient hospital stay

  • Semiprivate room and meals
  • Skilled nursing and rehabilitative services
  • Other services and supplies

Home healthcare
Limited to reasonable and necessary part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and home health aide services as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology that are ordered by your doctor and provided by a Medicare-certified home health agency

Also covers:

  • Medical social services
  • Durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, and walkers
  • Medical supplies and other services

Hospice care for people with a terminal illness

  • Drugs and other treatments to relieve pain or other symptoms such as difficulty breathing
  • Medical, nursing and social support services from a Medicare-approved hospice
  • Other services not otherwise covered by Medicare, including grief counseling and pastoral care

Hospice care is usually given at home, which may include a nursing facility if this is your home. However, Medicare covers some short-term hospital and inpatient care given to a hospice patient so that the usual caregiver can rest, known as respite care.

Blood – Pints of blood received at a hospital or skilled nursing facility during a covered stay

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