Medicare is a government health care program designed for seniors with at least 65 years of age. Medicare is a federal program and covers almost everything you need with different set of plans. Medicare plans starts with basic coverage and include plans to cover deductibles, prescription drug, coinsurance, home-care, skilled nursing requirements and much more. I will try to explain Medicare Part-A, the most basic coverage Medicare offers.
What is Medicare Part-A
Medicare Part-A is the most basic coverage offered by Medicare. You don’t have to enroll in Medicare Part A as by applying to Medicare alone will give you part a enrollment. I will cover the benefits of Medicare Part A in detail.
Medicare Part A or Hospital Insurance are the same things. Medicare Part A called as Hospital Insurance as it covers Inpatient services like hospital care and sometimes care given at home.
Medicare Part A Coverage
Part A provide coverage for hospital insurance. It also covers hospice and nursing care. Hospital Insurance provides coverage for inpatient medications, regular nursing services and limited home care services.
Part A will cover the cost of medicare approved first 60 days of inpatient services (Hospitalized). It will cover the 80% part of the cost. However some of the seniors need longer inpatient services. Then who will cover the cost? Don’t worry, still hospital insurance will provides some coverage, but you have to bear the larger share.
One more thing I would like to add here that Medicare has different plan which can cover the cost of longer hospital stay. Medicare Supplemental Plans can help you a lot in this scenario.
[stextbox id=”info”]Hospital stays[/stextbox]
Hospital stays are covered by Medicare Part A that includes semi-private rooms and nursing care and meals as well. However there are some conditions that has to met to avail these coverage.
- Hospital should accept Medicare and treats you as an inpatient.
- You really need care that can’t be given outside
Medicare Part-A Premium
Medicare Part A is mostly free for the people who paid medicare taxes while they were employed. If you are not paying any monthly premium, you are enjoying “Premium-free Part A“, just another name of medicare part A.
If you haven’t paid any medicare taxes, you are liable to pay $411 per month as Medicare Part A premium in 2016.
If you are buying Medicare Part A, its advisable that you should also buy Medicare Part B (To cover cost of doctors visits and outpatient costs) and pay premium for both Part A and Part B.
Medicare Part-A Deductible and Co-payment
Medicare Part A deductible for hospital stay per benefit period is $1,288. You have to pay $1,288 out of your pocket for every benefit period for your hospital stay. There is no co-payment for first 60 days of hospital stay for each benefit period. However you have to pay $322 per day if you are staying longer than 60 days in hospital. $322 per day could be a big ding on your pocket.
Skilled nursing care has no co-payment for first 20 days each benefit period. After 20 days, your co-payment would be $161 per day.
How to Signup for Hospital Insurance
As i have already mentioned above that you are eligible for hospital insurance as soon as you turn 65. In addition to that, there are some additional conditions which can qualify you for hospital insurance.
- Age less than 65 and disabled
- Suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Myths about Medicare Part-A
A lot of seniors in United States believe that Medicare Part A is the solution of all the healthcare costs. However it’s not true. If you want anything other than inpatient care, skilled nursing care or hospice, you need to have a close look at the other plans offered through Medicare or associated to Medicare like Medicare Supplemental Plan or Medigap.
[stextbox id=”info”]Please call Medicare 800 at 1-800-633-4227 for any help.[/stextbox]