Medicare Part A Enrollment

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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.

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Elements

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.  

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).


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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.  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION - FAQs

Many people do not have to pay any premium for Medicare Part A. This is because they have already paid into it through their Social Security. However, if paying a premium, is required the longer they work towards paying into their Social Security, the lower the amount will be.
No, Medicare Part A does not have any annual deductibles. However, they are applicable only to the hospital benefit period. This period begins when you start receiving treatment and ends when you are discharged.
You will be responsible for copays when your hospital treatment extends beyond the allowed period of 60 days. This period will begin in only 20 days where nursing services are used at a facility or home.
People of at least 65 years of age are eligible for Medicare Part A. Additionally, they have to be a US citizen or a permanent resident in the US for at least five consecutive years.
You must enroll in Medicare Part A in the 3 months prior to and following your 65th birthday. Alternatively, there are two parts - Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Here, you may have to enroll in each of them separately if you are not automatically enrolled.
An insured person needs to file a claim within 12 months of receiving hospital care. Some Medicare Advantage plans have a shorter period to submit their claims as opposed to Original Medicare.

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What Covers Medicare Part A?

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.

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