What is Medicare Part A?

Part A is hospital insurance. Part A helps cover the following:

  • 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 non-medical healthcare institution

Participants typically don't pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage if they paid Medicare taxes while working. This is called "premium-free Part A."

If a participant is not eligible for premium-free Part A, they may be able to buy Part A if they meet one of these conditions:

  • 65 or older, entitled to (or enrolling in) Part B, and meet the citizenship or residency requirements.
  • Under 65, disabled and premium-free Part A coverage ended due to returning to work.

 In most cases, if a participant chooses to buy Part A, they must also have Part B and pay monthly premiums for both. If they have limited income and resources, their state government may help pay for Part A and/or Part B.

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