Medicare Part A is most commonly referred to as hospital insurance. Part A will cover semi-private rooms, meals, general nursing, drugs as part of your inpatient treatment in addition to hospital services and supplies.
What Does Medicare Part A Cover?
Part A covers up to 150 days total hospitalization for a lifetime and up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility. Part A does NOT cover any surgery or treatment received while inpatient. Please see Part B for more information.
- Hospital Services & Emergency Care
- Hospital Care
- Skilled Nursing Facility Care
- Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities
- Home Health Care Services
When Should I Apply For Medicare Part A?
Initial Enrollment Period – IEP, this is a 7-month period that includes:
- the 3 months prior to the month you turn 65
- the month of your 65th birthday
- the 3 months after the month you turn 65.
Special Enrollment Period – if you or a spouse are still working, you may sign up anytime while you have group health coverage or during the 8-month period that begins the month after employment or coverage ends, whichever occurs first.
General Enrollment Period – between January 1 and March 31 each year. Your coverage will start July 1 of that year. This is for those who missed their IEP, there may be imposed penalties for Part B and D.
How Do I Apply to Medicare Part A?
You can enroll in one of the three ways listed below:
- Applying via the Social Security’s website: www.ssa.gov
- Calling Social Security: 1-800-772-1213, TTY 1-800-325-0778
- Visiting your local Social Security office
If you already receive benefits from Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you do not have to sign up. You should automatically receive your Medicare card, it’s white with a red and blue stripe, by your birthday month. Your benefits will begin the first day of the month you turn 65. Note: If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage will begin the first day of the prior month.
If you are disabled, you automatically receive benefits after your 24th month of receiving Social Security disability benefits. Your card will be mailed to you three months prior to your 25th month of disability.
How much does Part A cost?
Free: If you or your spouse has worked 10 or more taxable years (40 quarters) of Medicare-covered employment
Costs for 2017
$227.00: For people with 7.5 – 10 years (30-39 quarters) of Medicare-approved covered employment
$413.00: For people with less than 7.5 years (30 quarters) of Medicare-covered employment
Medicare Part A has a deductible for each benefit period that can increase at the beginning of the Medicare year. (January 1st – December 31st)
Besides the Part A premium, if any, do I have to pay anything else for Part A?
You will be responsible for a $1316.00 deductible (this amount may change annually) when you are admitted to the hospital per benefit period. There is no annual cap, meaning, a beneficiary can have several benefit periods in one year. A Medicare year begins on January 1st and ends December 31st. This is why most beneficiaries enroll in a secondary plan, to give peace of mind when it comes to out of pocket expenses.
Besides the deductible, most confinement costs are covered for days 1 through 60. Days 61-90 you will be responsible for $329 per day coinsurance, and days 91-150 you will be responsible for $658 per day coinsurance.
You can either apply for Medicare or Social Security, or both at the same time.