What does Medicare Part A Cover?

  • Inpatient care in a hospital: This includes all care you receive after being admitted into a hospital by a physician. Medicare covers up to 90 days each benefit period in a general hospital. Additionally, you receive 60 lifetime reserve days. It also covers up to 190 lifetime days in a Medicare-certified psychiatric hospital.
  • Skilled nursing facility care: Medicare covers your room, board, and certain services provided in a skilled nursing facility. This includes medications, tube feedings, and wound care. It covers up to 100 days each benefit period. In order to qualify, you must have spent at least three consecutive days in the hospital within 30 days of admission to a skilled nursing facility and must have needed skilled nursing or therapy services.
  • Hospice care: Hospice care is covered for as long as your provider certifies it’s necessary.
  • Home health care: A service normally covered by Part B, Part A coverage will kick in if you’ve spent at least three consecutive days as a hospital inpatient within 14 days of receiving home care. Up to 100 days of daily care are covered or an unlimited amount of intermittent care.

Who is eligible for Medicare Part A?

At age 65, you are eligible for Medicare Part A coverage at no cost as long as you or your spouse has worked for at least 10 years in the United States. Additionally, during those years, you paid taxes toward your Part A hospital benefits. Because it covers hospital stays, most people pay this.

If you haven’t worked for 10 years, you can still purchase Part A coverage.

How do I enroll for Medicare Part A?

As long as you have already enrolled in Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled in Part A. If not, you will have to contact the Social Security office to enroll.

Your Medicare card will arrive around one month before you turn 65.

Learn more about how to enroll into Medicare.

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