If you worked and paid Medicare taxes for the last 10 years (40 quarters), you are automatically entitled to Part A when you turn 65. If you are entitled, you don’t need to pay a premium. Generally, it covers medically-necessary inpatient care. This refers to hospital stays when a patient must be admitted. This may typically be for the immediate or acute care of an injury or illness.
What Does Medicare Part A Cover?
Benefits include the following:
- Post-hospital skilled nursing
- Short-term post-hospital home health care
- Hospice services
- Blood transfusions
Part A does not cover custodial or long-term care (extended stays in a nursing home). You may consider purchasing long-term care insurance if this is something you may be interested in.
If you’re unsure if something is covered by Part A or B– inpatient or outpatient– give us a call and we can help!
How Much Does Medicare Part A Cost?
Most beneficiaries do not pay a premium for Medicare Part A. Individuals typically pay taxes throughout their lifetimes to be able to qualify for Medicare Part A entitlement.
As long as you have worked for 10 years in your lifetime in the United States, you will generally pay nothing at all for this Part. If you do not have this work history, you can purchase coverage. In 2018, the monthly premium is $422.
When do I enroll in Medicare Part A?
If you already get Social Security income benefits, you will be automatically enrolled i. Two to three months before the month you turn 65, you will receive your Medicare card in the mail.
If you are not already receiving Social Security income benefits or Railroad Retirement Board benefits yet, then you will need to actively sign up at age 65. You can do this at the Social Security website.
What is my Medicare Cost-sharing under Part A?
Your Medicare Part A coverage will pay for a great deal. However, you will have some cost-sharing as well that you are responsible for.
Each year, the CMS determines what costs you will be responsible under Medicare this Part.
For a hospital stay in 2018, this is what you would pay:
- Less than 60 days in the hospital: No coinsurance, and a $1340 deductible
- Days 61-90: $335 coinsurance per day
- Over 90 days: $670 coinsurance per day
- Over 150 days: All costs
For skilled nursing facility stays:
- First 20 days: Covered
- Days 21- 100: $167.50 co-pay
Fortunately, both Medigap policies and Part C Advantage plans can help cover these costs. Either type of plan will help you to significantly reduce your medical costs.