What does Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance cover?
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover your inpatient care in hospitals. Part A coverage also includes care received in critical access hospitals and skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care). Additionally, it covers hospice care and home health care. You must meet certain conditions to get these benefits.
Can I get Part A?
Generally, you’re eligible for Part A if you:
- Are 65 or older and you meet the citizenship and residency
- Get disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad
- Retirement Board for at least 25 months.
- Get disability benefits because you have ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral
- Sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease).
- Have ESRD and meet certain requirements.
How much does Medicare Part A coverage cost?
You usually don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years while working. If you aren’t eligible for free Part A, you may be able to buy Part A if you’re:
- 65 or older and you have (or are enrolling in) Part B and meet the citizenship and residency requirements.
- Under 65, disabled, and your free Part A coverage ended because you returned to work. (If you’re under 65 and disabled, you can continue to get free Part A for up to 8 ½ years after you return to work.)
In 2018, people who have to buy Part A pay premiums up to $422 each month. In most cases, if you choose to buy Part A, you must also have Part B and pay monthly premiums for both.
What’s a Part A late enrollment penalty?
If you get Part A for free, you won’t have to pay a Part A late enrollment penalty if you decide to enroll after you first become eligible. If you aren’t eligible for free Part A, and you don’t buy it when you’re first eligible, your monthly premium may go up 10%. You’ll have to pay the higher premium for twice the number of years you could have had Part A, but didn’t sign up. For example, if you were eligible for Medicare Part A coverage for 2 years but didn’t sign up, you’ll have to pay a 10% higher premium for 4 years. Usually, you don’t have to pay a penalty if you meet certain conditions that allow you to sign up for Part A during a Special Enrollment Period.
Have any questions?
Just get in touch with one of our Heroes that would be happy to help you! We are unbiased independent brokers contracted with all of the major health insurance companies. We are 100% free to you and the prices are the same as if you went directly to the health insurance companies, but with us as your Medicare concierge we can continue to guide you in your journey.