Medicare is a health insurance program offered by the federal government for people who are 65 and above. Within Medicare, Part-A insurance covers the inpatient hospital care. Most people get Medicare Part A free of cost when they turn 65. Below are the services which come under Medicare Part A.
- Hospital Care: This coverage includes benefits such as meals, semi-private room, general nursing, other hospital services and supplies, care in inpatient rehabilitation facilities and mental health care in a psychiatric hospital. To know the list of hospitals which are enrolled in Medicare, you can refer to our website //www.medicarelist.com/hospitals/
- Skilled Nursing Facility Care: This coverage includes semi-private room, meals, skilled nursing care, medical social services, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, medical equipment, Ambulance transportation and Dietary counseling. To know the list of nursing-homes which are enrolled in Medicare, you can refer to our website //www.medicarelist.com/nursing-homes/
- Hospice: This coverage provides services to people who are terminally ill and have less than 6 months to live. To get the services, doctor must certify that the patient is terminally ill. To know the list of hospice which are enrolled in Medicare, you can refer to our website //www.medicarelist.com/hospice-care/
- Home Health Services: Face to face interaction with the doctor is necessary to avail home health services. Patient must be home-bound. To know the list of home health agencies which are enrolled in Medicare, you can refer to our website //www.medicarelist.com/home-healthcare/
Who are eligible for Medicare Part A?
People with the following criteria are eligible for Part A Medicare program.
- People with the age 65 or above.
- People who are disabled permanently.
- People with the end stage renal disease.
Refer to our guide on Medicare Eligibility Requirement for in-depth eligibility requirments.
What is the cost of Medicare Part A?
There is no monthly premium for Medicare Part A for individuals who paid their medicare taxes for atleast 40 quarters.
The eligibility for people at 65 is as follows:
- People with retirement benefits from Social Security or Rail Road Retirement Board.
- People who are eligible and yet to file for Social Security or Rail Road benefits.
- People and their respective partners have medicare covered government employment.
The eligibility for people under 65 is as follows:
- People who got disability benefits of Social Security or Rail Road Retirement Board for 24 months.
- People with end stage renal disease and meet certain requirements.
For the year 2017
- People who paid taxes for less than 30 quarters have to pay $413 monthly.
- People who paid taxes for 30-39 quarters have to pay $227 monthly.
- People who paid taxes for 40 quarters or above avail free medicare coverage.
When to enroll for Medicare Part A?
- Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): People can enroll 3 months before they turn 65 to get services from the day they turn 65. If they enroll during the month they turn 65, then they can avail services the next month. If they enroll in the last 3 months of this period, then they can avail services after 2 to 3 months they turn 65.
- General Enrollment Period (GEP): People who did not sign up during Initial Enrollment Period can enroll during General Enrollment Period. It occurs every year from January 1 to March 31. If the person is not eligible for premium-free Part A and has not bought it in IEP, his/her monthly premium may go up 10%. He/She has to pay the higher premium for twice the number of years he/she did not signup for Part A.
- Special Enrollment Period: Most of the people are not eligible for Special Enrollment Period. To be eligible, a person should have employer group health plan coverage based on his/her employment status. The SEP allows people to enroll for Medicare after IEP without needing to wait for GEP and there is no penalty as well.
How to apply for Medicare Part A?
- Visit the social security website for online application.
- Visit the nearest social security office for offline application.
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213
- Call the R.R.B at 1-877-772-5772, if you are a rail road employer.
How much does Medicare Part A pay?
|Benefit Period in 2017
||$329 per day
||$654 per day
(60 lifetime reserve days)
|All days after 150
Cost Working Examples
- Patient pays a $1,316 deductible and no coinsurance for days 1– 60 of each benefit period. For example, if the hospital bill for 7 days is $20,000, then the patient will pay $1,316 and the remaining amount will be paid by Medicare.
- Patient pays $329 per day for days 61– 90 of each benefit period. If the patient is hospitalized for 65 days, then he has to pay total of $2961 [$1,316 (deductible) + 5 x $329 ($1645 co-pay)]
- Patient pays $658 per “lifetime reserve day” after day 90 of each benefit period (up to 60 days over your lifetime).
Skilled Nursing Facility:
|Benefit Period in 2017
||$164.50 per day
|All days after 100
Home Health Care: Patient has to pay nothing for home health services in the original Medicare. For certain medical equipment like wheel chair or walker, he has to pay 20% of the amount and the rest 80% is covered by Medicare Part-B.
Hospice: Patient has to pay not more than $5 for each prescription drug and 5% for inpatient respite care. For example, if Medicare approved $150 per day for inpatient respite care, then he has to pay $7.50 per day.