Medicare Part A - Hospital Insurance
Medicare Part A is the "hospital insurance" portion of Medicare. Most seniors over the age of 65 will receive this coverage for free if they have worked 40 quarters or ten years in which taxes were paid. Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B make up Original Medicare which is a common term in the Medicare and You Booklet and the Choosing a Medigap Booklet, both published by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Medicare Part A Deductible
The Medicare Part A deductible changes each year. In 2012, the deductible is $1,156. Under the hospital portion of Medicare an individual can have several deductibles which are referred to as benefit periods. A benefit period is defined as the day you enter the hospital and are out of the hospital for 60 consecutive days.
Ex: If you enter the hospital and checkout only to check back in 59 days later you will still be in the same benefit period. Which means you do not have to pay another deductible. However, if you came back to the hospital 65 days later you would be responsible for another Medicare Part A deductible.
Medicare Part A Coverage
In general, Medicare Part A will cover:
- Hospital Care
- Skilled Nursing Care
- Nursing Home Care (as long as custodial care isn't the only care you need)
- Home Health Services
Inpatient Hospital are under Medicare Part A will cover semi-private rooms, meals, general nursing as well as other services and supplies. Private duty nursing and Private rooms are not covered unless they are considered Medically necessary.
How to sign up for Medicare Part AThere are several ways to sign up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. We are hearing from seniors that have delayed taking their Medicare Part B and have not started receiving Social Security benefits that their local Social Security department is requiring them to come in to apply for Medicare. Ways to Apply
- Apply online at the Social Security Website
- Visit local Social Security office
- Call Social Security - 1-800-772-1213