This is a brief 5-Part Simple Series to provide an Introduction to Medicare. After the initial introduction, each post will provide a description and information about one Part of Medicare including important deadlines, eligible applicants and other critical features.
What Does Medicare Part A Cover?
Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay. Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care.
Am I Eligible for Medicare Part A?
People age 65 or older, who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, are eligible for Medicare Part. Even more, you’re eligible for “Part A” at no cost at age 65 if:
- You receive or are eligible to receive Social Security benefits
- You receive or are eligible to receive railroad retirement benefits
- Your spouse (living or deceased, including divorced spouses) receives or is eligible to receive Social Security or railroad retirement benefits
- You or your spouse worked long enough in a government job through which you paid Medicare taxes
- You are the dependent parent of a fully insured deceased child
If you don’t meet these requirements, you may be able to get Medicare Part A by paying a monthly premium. Usually, you can purchase this coverage only during designated enrollment periods.
Before age 65, you are eligible for Medicare Part A at no cost if:
- You’ve been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months
- You receive a disability pension from the railroad retirement board and meet certain conditions
- You receive Social Security disability benefits because you have Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
- You worked long enough in a government job through which you paid Medicare taxes, and you’ve been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months
- You’re the child or widow(er) age 50 or older, including a divorced widow(er), of someone who’s worked long enough in a government job through which Medicare taxes were paid, and you meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program
- You have permanent kidney failure and you receive maintenance dialysis or a kidney transplant and
- You’re eligible for or receive monthly benefits under Social Security or the railroad retirement system
- You’ve worked long enough in a Medicare-covered government job
- You’re the child or spouse (including a divorced spouse) of a worker (living or deceased) who has worked long enough under Social Security or in a Medicare-covered government job
How Much Does It Cost?
Most people don’t pay a Part A premium because they and/or their employer paid Medicare taxes during their working lifetime. If you don’t receive premium-free Part A, you may pay up to $411 each month. In the event of a hospital stay, here are some more 2016 facts about Part A:
- $1,288 deductible per benefit period
- $0 for the first 60 days of each benefit period
- $322 per day for days 61-90 of each benefit period
- $644 per “lifetime reserve day” after day 90 of each benefit period (up to a maximum of 60 days over your lifetime)
What Are Critical Enrollment Deadlines for Medicare Part A?
You should sign up for Medicare three months before your 65th birthday. You should sign up whether or not you want to begin receiving retirement benefits in order to maximize your benefits when you begin taking them.
When Will My Coverage Start?
Terry can you help here?
For more information about Senior Patient Advocates or to learn about Medicare Part A or other components visit Senior Patient Advocates’ website, sign up for upcoming Medicare course curriculum, or call (307) 472-1770.
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