Medicare Part A

Last updated: October 7, 2015

Hospital Insurance

Exempt From Payment

Many people do not have to pay for this portion of Medicare because they have paid Medicare taxes while working (referred to as "Premium-Free Part A").

You will not have to pay a monthly premium for Part A if:

  • You already receive retirement benefits from Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.

  • You are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits but haven’t filed for them yet.

  • You or your spouse worked in Medicare-covered employment for at least 10 years.

Needing To Pay

If you do not qualify for Premium-Free Part A, you may still be able to purchase Part A coverage. You must meet one of the following requirements: 

  • Are 65 or older, are eligible to purchase Part B coverage, and meet residency or citizenship requirements.

  • Are under 65, disabled, and your Premium-Free Part A ended because you returned to work.

Generally, the Following Services Are Covered Under Part A:

  • Inpatient care in hospitals (such as critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care hospitals).

  • Inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care).

  • Hospice care services.

  • Home health care services.

  • Inpatient care in a Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institution.

For questions about common services covered under Part A, contact Medicare directly: click here or call  800-633-4227.

Beneficiaries enrolled in Part A are subject to coinsurance and a yearly deductible.

  • In 2015, this deductible is $1,260.

NOTE: Not all overnight hospital stays are considered "inpatient." It is important to check with your doctor to find out whether your patient status is inpatient or outpatient. Overnight outpatient hospital visits are not covered under Part A of Medicare.

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