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.