Medicare Part A

What is Part A?

Medicare Part A is one of two parts that make up Original Medicare, the federal health insurance program for millions of eligible Americans. 

Part A provides hospital insurance and is accessible with any hospital that accepts Medicare.   

elderly patient and female doctor

Part A Eligibility

You are eligible for Medicare Part A if you’re:

age 65 or older.

 disabled, and are receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months.

have end-stage renal disease.

have Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).

Part A Coverage

Your Part A benefits will pay for a large amount of your health expenses, but not all of it. 

The following identifies what hospital benefits are covered, as well as what Part A doesn’t cover, and will be out-of-pocket costs that you are responsible for, unless you purchase a Medigap policy to offset these expenses.

inpatient hospital care

skilled nursing facility care

inpatient skilled nursing facility care

hospice care

home health care

Part A Costs

Typically, there’s no premium associated with Part A when turning 65 if any of the below criteria applies to you.

A legal resident of the United States for 5 consecutive years and worked and paid FICA taxes for at least 10 years or 40 quarters.

The spouse of an individual that meets these criteria.

Have End-stage Renal Disease.

Have Lou Gehrig’s disease/ALS.

Disabled and are receiving social security disability benefits.

If you are not eligible for premium-free Part A, you can still purchase Part A coverage, but you will be required to pay a premium. The good news is that this premium can be reduced if you have work credits from having  paid taxes while you were employed.

Read more about costs associated to Part A on our Medicare Costs page.

Part A Enrollment

When can you sign up for Part A?

You can sign up for Part A when you become eligible, which is the age of 65.  You have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) to sign up.  Read more about Part A enrollment on our Medicare Enrollment page.

Already receiving Social Security or Railroad Benefits? 

Medicare eligible seniors will be automatically enrolled in Parts A starting their 65th birth month if they are already receiving social security  or the Railroad Retirement Board (BRB) benefits.  These recipients will receive their Medicare card approximately three months before their 65th birth month. 

nurse holding senior's hand

Close to age 65 but not electing to receive Social Security? 

You can apply for Medicare Part A three months before your 65th birthday. Read more about Part A enrollment on our Medicare Enrollment page.

Learn More About Medicare Part A

Still have questions about Medicare Part A? We can help you determine what you need to do to make sure you’re enrolled and clarify what coverage Part A offers.  Contact us now to learn more.

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