What is Medicare Part A?

2 min. readlast update: 07.03.2023

Medicare Part A is one of the four parts of the U.S. government's Medicare program, which provides health insurance for individuals who are 65 years old or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Here are some key points about Medicare Part A:

  1. Hospital Insurance: Medicare Part A is often referred to as "Hospital Insurance" because it primarily covers inpatient hospital care. It helps pay for medically necessary services and supplies provided during a hospital stay, including room charges, nursing services, meals, and medications administered during the hospital stay.

  1. Skilled Nursing Facility Care: Part A also covers care received in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) following a hospital stay of at least three consecutive days. This includes services such as skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services, and necessary supplies.

  1. Hospice Care: Medicare Part A provides coverage for hospice care for individuals with a terminal illness. Hospice care focuses on providing comfort and support rather than curative treatments.

  1. Home Health Services: Part A covers medically necessary home health services for individuals who meet certain criteria, such as being homebound and requiring intermittent skilled nursing care or therapy services.

  1. Eligibility: Most people are eligible for Medicare Part A if they or their spouse have paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years (or 40 quarters) while working. However, even if an individual does not meet the work history requirement, they may still be eligible for Part A by paying a premium.
  2. Costs: While many people do not pay a premium for Part A (referred to as premium-free Part A), there may be costs associated with deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for specific services. It's important to understand the costs and coverage limitations of Medicare Part A to plan for potential out-of-pocket expenses.

It's worth noting that Medicare Part A is different from Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient services, physician visits, preventive care, and medical equipment. To receive comprehensive coverage, most people enroll in both Part A and Part B, collectively referred to as "Original Medicare."

For more detailed information about Medicare Part A, including specific coverage and eligibility details, it is recommended to review official Medicare resources or speak with a Medicare representative.

Was this article helpful?