Medicare Part A is your hospital coverage. It provides you with affordable inpatient care. So what’s the definition of inpatient?
Here at Boomer Benefits, we tell our clients to think of it as “room and board” in the hospital. It’s going to cover a semi-private room with a bed for you, and all your regular meals while you are there. It will cover medications furnished to you by the hospital and any necessary lab services or medical supplies.
You may get your inpatient care at an acute care hospital, a critical access hospital, an inpatient mental healthcare hospital or at an inpatient rehabilitation facility.
What Does Medicare Part A Cover?
In addition to Medicare hospitalization coverage, Medicare Part A also covers post-hospital skilled nursing and short-term post-hospital home health care, so long as it is medically necessary. Part A covers hospice services which may include palliative care, DME, counseling, and social services. Medicare hospice coverage also provides short-term respite care for caregivers to have a rest.
Part A also provides for some home health care services received in the hospital or immediately following an inpatient stay. This includes skilled nursing care, medical social services, and physical therapy. Home health aid services are generally only covered when skilled nursing is also occurring.
Medicare does NOT cover long-term care, such as extended stays in a nursing home. Individuals can consider purchasing long-term care insurance if this is something they want to plan for.
There are some things that you might think would fall under Part A but sometimes fall under Part B, such as outpatient surgeries. When it comes to determining if something is inpatient vs outpatient, it’s always a good idea to consult your Medicare insurance broker for guidance.
However, in general, what is covered by Part A is generally hospital-related for immediate or acute care of an injury or illness.
How Much Does Medicare Part A Cost?
Is Medicare Part A free?
Well, not exactly. Most beneficiaries will pay nothing for Medicare Part A at age 65 though because they have already pre-paid it. You see, we all pay taxes during our working years that are specifically for our future Medicare hospital coverage during retirement. These taxes go to offset the cost of Part A later on.As long as you have worked for 10 years in your lifetime in the United States, you will generally pay nothing at all for Part A. If you do not have this work history, you can purchase Part A as long as you have been a legal resident or greencard holder for at least 5 years. Read more about the cost of Part A on our Medicare costs page.
If you do not have 40 quarters, you can pay for Part A. Premiums in 2020 are $458 if you have less than 30 quarters or $252 for people with 30 – 39 quarters.