What Is Medicare Part A?
Medicare Part A is alternatively known as ‘Hospital Insurance’, while Medicare Part B is known as ‘Medical Insurance’. As the name suggests, Medicare Part A insurance covers inpatient care that one usually receives in a hospital or a nursing facility. In some cases, nursing services at home are included as well. People become eligible for Medical Part A enrollment if they are at least 65 years old and living on retirement benefits, including Railroad Retirement Board or the Social Security Administration.
Key Elements of Medicare Part A
Generally, Medicare Health Insurance Part A is free for most people. For others, the payable premium depends on the earning factor of the individual. However, one can apply for Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security benefits if they meet the minimum number of quarters of coverage (QCs). This would grant them a premium-free Medicare Part A only.
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Who Is Eligible For Medicare Part A?
People are eligible for Medicare Part A plans if they belong to any of the following –
- 65 years old or more
- A permanent legal resident for at least five years in a row or a US citizen
- Receiving retirement benefits from Railroad Retirement Board or the Social Security Administration
Those who are below 65 years old can still apply if they have a disability, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
How to Apply For Medicare Part A?
People who pay into their Social Security program are eligible for Medicare Part A. However, you can still apply for Medicare Part A only if you are nearing or are already 65 years old. Hence, Medicare Part A enrollment period would be either of the following –
- 3 months before 65th birthday
- On the birthday month
- 3 months after 65th birthday
You can also choose to enroll in Medicare Part A only or apply for Medicare Part B as well.
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Medicare Part A Coverage Details
For the most part, Medicare Part A only covers hospital inpatient care or nursing facilities available in a professional institution or at home. Thereafter, Medicare Part A only coverage includes the following
- Hospital Care: These benefits are applicable if you receive treatment for up to 60 days. You will be responsible for coinsurance if the period is extended.
- Nursing Services at Home: One becomes eligible for this part of the coverage if they use nursing facilities within 30 days of hospitalization. Additionally, only 100 days of such care will be considered.
- Hospice: This is available for terminally ill people who require medical equipment, prescriptions, counselling, and other supplies.