Medicare Part A – What is Medicare Part A and What Does it Cover?

Medicare Part A – What is Medicare Part A and What Does it Cover?

This is the basic information about Medicare Part A which will cover home health care, hospice care, and hospital stays classified as inpatient. Medicare is a government-created program to provide insurance to individuals who meet a given criterion. This program was set up to cover the costs of these persons’ medical bills. Medicare Part A was created with the original Medicare package, is an insurance that is bankrolled by the government, and covers costs associated with home health services, hospice, nursing home facilities, hospital stays classified as an inpatient, and Non-medical Health care Institutions with a religious affiliation.

Who is Eligible to Receive Medicare Part A?

Individuals over the age of 65

Individuals who are under the age of 65 but have a qualifying disability

Individuals who suffer from terminal kidney disease and are in the end stages of this disease

What Costs Are Associated With Medicare Part A?

There would be no premium for Medicare Part A if you paid in Medicare taxes while you were working. There is also no premium if your spouse paid these kinds of taxes.

Medicare Part A may be available to you for a cost if you are over 65 and meet certain citizenship requirements.

You may also purchase coverage if you are under 65, suffering from a disability, but no longer eligible for free coverage because you have been able to resume working in some capacity. Premiums for Medicare Part A can run as high as $433 each month. When you purchase Part A, you are usually required also to purchase Part B.

When Am I Eligible to Enroll for Part A?

Your Medicare coverage begins the first day of the month of your 65th birthday automatically, as long as you are collecting social security or benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board. You should receive a Medicare card mailed to your home about 3 months before your 65th birthday.

If you are under the age of 65 but disabled, you become eligible for Medicare Part A when you receive social security disability benefits or RRB benefits for 2 years. In the first month of your third year, you will receive your Medicare card. There is an exemption made for those that have Amyotrophic Later Sclerosis. These individuals are eligible for Medicare Part A the same month they begin receiving social security disability benefits.

You may have to take the first step to enroll for Medicare Part A, even if you meet the eligibility requirements. If you are not currently collecting your RRB benefits, if you were a railroad employee or your social security benefits, you should call the social security office 3 months before your 65th birthday to find out how to enroll.

Purchasing Part A

The following are the circumstances under which Part A coverage can be purchased:

  • At the onset of enrollment 3 months before your 65th birthday
  • Up to 3 months after your 65th birthday
  • During the open enrollment periods from January 1 to March 31 each year

You should make sure to enroll for your Medicare when you are initially eligible. Otherwise, you may incur increases or fees with your premium. The following are exceptions to this rule:

If you did not enroll at your 65th birthday because you or your spouse were enrolled on an employers’ plan, you have 8 months beyond the time that your employment or health insurance ends to sign up for Medicare Part A.

If you are volunteering in an international capacity, you have 6 months beyond the end of your assignment to enroll.

Medicare Part A covers the following:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • An inpatient hospital in a semi-private room including nursing care, medications, and meals
  • Blood transfusions when the hospital must purchase the blood to be transfused
  • Hospital supplies

Part-time nursing care, speech therapy, or physical therapy when it is deemed medically necessary

Hospice services if you have a terminal illness and are expected to live for 6 months or less.

Up to 100 days each benefit period in a skilled nursing facility care including meals, semi-private room, rehabilitative services, skilled nursing, and other medically necessary services.

The Following is Not Covered by Part A:

  • Custodial Care
  • Dental Checkups and Dentures
  • Acupuncture
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Hearing aids and exams
  • Routine foot care
  • Routine or annual physical exams
  • Most prescription drugs
  • Long-term care
  • Syringes or insulin
  • Routine eye exams, eye refractions, and most eyeglasses
  • Travel