What is Medicare Part A?

There are two ways to get your Medicare coverage – Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plan. The first option, Original Medicare, includes Part A and Part B.  You can also add a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) to help cover the gaps in Medicare and a drug plan, referred to as Part D. Most people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A at the age of 65, if they have already began collecting retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board at least 4 or more months before their 65th birth month. The benefits for Medicare Part A begin the first day of the month that you turn 65 if your birthday falls on the 2nd of the month or later. What if your birthday is on the 1st? You are in luck! Your benefits will begin on the first day of the month before your birthday.

What if you are not withdrawing Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement Board benefits? You will need to manually enroll yourself in Medicare Part A during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This seven month period will begin three months before you turn 65 years old. This period includes the three months before your birthday, the month of your birthday, and the three months after. Your coverage will begin as early as the first day of your birth month or the first day of the following month you enroll. If you choose not to enroll during this window, you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (GEP), which is January 1st through March 31st of each year.  If you miss your IEP and do not qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you may be penalized when you signed up during the GEP.

Did you know that 99% of Medicare beneficiaries do not have a Part A premium? If you have paid into Medicare for at least 40 quarters, or 10 years, you are also eligible for this premium-free Part A. You can also get this free premium if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and meet certain criteria. What if your spouse paid into Medicare for 30 quarters but you only paid 30 quarters? You will be offered a reduced monthly premium rate. Individuals who have been uninsured that are under 30 quarters of coverage and certain people with disabilities who have exhausted other entitlement will be required to pay the entire premium, equaling $437 a month (2019).

What does Medicare Part A generally cover?

  • Inpatient care in a hospital
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility
  • Home health care (when ordered by your doctor)
  • Hospice care
  • Mental health care
  • Inpatient rehabilitation facilities
  • Acute care hospitals
  • Critical access hospitals

What does Medicare Part A not cover?

  • Long-term care
  • Hearing aids
  • Majority of dental care
  • Routine foot care
  • Cost of blood (if the blood does not come from a blood bank)
  • Eye examinations (glasses prescription)  
  • Cosmetic procedures

What does Medicare Part A cost look like?

  • Medicare Part A premiums range from $0 up to $437
  • Inpatient hospital deductible = $1,364
  • Daily coinsurance for 61st-90th Day = $341
  • Daily coinsurance for lifetime reserve days = $682
  • Daily coinsurance for Skilled Nursing Facility = $170.50

Our primary objective is to help you avoid penalties by enrolling in the right enrollment periods, while keeping your costs down as much as possible!  We know that is important to so many. If you have questions about navigating the ever-changing Medicare maze or retirement insurance options, we have advisors ready to light the way! Call us at (877) 759-5760 or email senior.services@morganwhite.com. It’s that simple!

To request a quote online, click https://mwgseniorservices.com/medsupp.

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