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What Does Medicare Part A Cover?

Medicare Part A provides coverage for various types of inpatient care

  1. Inpatient Hospital Care: This category includes all services provided to patients after admission to a hospital by a doctor. Medicare Part A covers up to 90 days of inpatient hospital care during each benefit period. In addition to this, beneficiaries also have access to an additional 60 lifetime reserve days that can be utilized if they surpass the initial 90-day allowance. Part A extends coverage to include up to 190 days (per lifetime) at Medicare-certified psychiatric hospitals, ensuring individuals receive necessary treatment and care during mental health crises.

  2. Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Care: Part A provides coverage for individuals requiring skilled nursing care in a SNF. This coverage includes room and board, along with specific services such as tube feedings, wound care, and meals. Medicare pays for up to 100 days of SNF care per benefit period. To qualify for coverage, beneficiaries must have spent at least three consecutive days in a hospital within 30 days of SNF admission, and a doctor must certify the need for skilled nursing or therapy services.

  3. Home Health Care: Although home health care is typically covered by Medicare Part B, Part A extends coverage if a beneficiary has spent at least three consecutive days as an inpatient in a hospital within 14 days of receiving home care. Part A covers up to 100 days of daily care or an unlimited amount of intermittent care, ensuring individuals can receive necessary medical services in the comfort of their own homes.

  4. Hospice Care: Part A includes coverage for hospice care, which focuses on providing comfort and support to individuals with terminal illnesses during their end-of-life journey. Hospice services covered under Part A include medications for symptom management, support care to enhance quality of life, respite care to provide temporary relief for caregivers, and counseling services for patients and their families. This comprehensive coverage ensures individuals receive compassionate care and support during a challenging time.

Part A Cost?

  1. Premiums: For most beneficiaries, Part A premiums are free if they or their spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years (40 quarters). However, if you haven’t worked long enough, you may have to pay a premium. The standard premium amount for 2022 is $499 per month if you paid Medicare taxes for less than 30 quarters, and $276 per month if you paid Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters.

  2. Deductibles: Part A also has a deductible that beneficiaries must pay when they are admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility. The deductible amount can change annually and was $1,556 per benefit period in 2022 for hospital stays up to 60 days.

  3. Coinsurance and Copayments: After meeting the deductible, beneficiaries may still be responsible for coinsurance or copayments for certain services. For example, for hospital stays longer than 60 days, beneficiaries may have to pay a coinsurance amount per day. Additionally, for skilled nursing facility stays longer than 20 days, beneficiaries may have a daily coinsurance amount.

  4. Lifetime Reserve Days: Beneficiaries also have access to 60 lifetime reserve days that they can use if they are in the hospital for more than 90 days in a benefit period. There is a coinsurance amount associated with each lifetime reserve day.

  5. Other Costs: While Part A covers many hospital and skilled nursing facility services, it doesn’t cover everything. Beneficiaries may still have out-of-pocket costs for services like private-duty nursing, personal care items, or a private room (unless medically necessary).

For Enrolment

  1. Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): The IEP is the initial seven-month period when you first become eligible for Medicare. It begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday, includes the month of your birthday, and continues for three months afterward.

  2. Special Enrollment Period (SEP): You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you or your spouse (or family member if you’re disabled) are currently employed and covered by a group health plan through your employer or union. You typically have eight months after your employment or coverage ends to sign up for Part A without penalty.

  3. General Enrollment Period (GEP): If you missed your initial enrollment period and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year. Coverage will begin on July 1 of that year, and you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

Approaching your 65th birthday? Connect COSI Agency

As your 65th birthday approaches, it’s a good time to familiarize yourself with Medicare. At COSI Agency, we’re proactive in helping beneficiaries understand their options. We believe in starting early to ensure you’re well-prepared for this important transition. Contact us today to begin your Medicare education and planning process.


Most U.S. citizens or legal residents who are 65 or older and have worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years (40 quarters) are eligible for premium-free Part A. Some younger individuals with disabilities may also qualify.

If you’re still working and have health insurance through your employer or union, you may be able to delay enrolling in Medicare Part A without facing a penalty. However, it’s essential to understand your options and potential penalties for delaying enrollment.

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, home health care, and hospice care. It helps pay for medically necessary services like hospital stays, surgeries, and certain skilled nursing services.

Yes, individuals under 65 with certain disabilities may qualify for Medicare Part A if they receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or have certain medical conditions, such as end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Choosing COSI Agency means opting for unbiased choices and personalized solutions. Unlike tied agents, we explore various carriers and coverage options. With no external agendas, we prioritize your well-being and financial goals, providing recommendations solely focused on securing your peace of mind.

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