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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Taxes & Financial Planning > Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A Cost


How Much Does Medicare Part A Cost?

 
low cost40+ Quarters: Freeaverage cost30-49 Quarters: $248 a Monthhigh costFewer Than 30 Quarters: $451 a Month
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Medicare helps pay for health care for people 65 or older or the disabled, but does not cover all costs. The traditional government-run programs are Part A and Part B. For an overview of all the options, see How Much Does Medicare Cost.

Generally, Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital expenses. However, it covers only a portion of the total costs; adding a supplemental policy creates more comprehensive coverage. See How Much Does a Medigap Plan Cost.

Typical costs:

  • If an individual or their spouse paid into Medicare as an employee for 40 or more quarters (equivalent to 10 years, in three-month increments), then the monthly premium for Medicare Part A is free for people over 65 or younger people with certain disabilities.
  • For those over 65 or disabled who paid into Medicare as an employee for only 30-39 quarters, the 2014 premium for Medicare Part A coverage is $234 monthly or $2,808 a year; with fewer than 30 quarters the monthly premium is $441, or $5,292 a year.
  • With Medicare Part A, there is a $1,846 deductible amount for the first 60 days of a hospital stay, plus coinsurance payments (paid by the individual) for stays of more than 60 days. For 2014, coinsurance rates are $296 daily for days 61-90 and $592 daily for days 91-150 (but Medicare only covers days 91-150 once per person), with no coverage after 150 days. Medicare.gov provides a coverage database[1] to search for payment rates for specific services or supplies.
Related articles: Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare

What should be included:
  • Medical Part A is the original government-run basic medical insurance that covers inpatient (overnight) services at a hospital or, in certain circumstances, at a skilled nursing facility. Medicare Part A may also cover a portion of home health care in specific situations. Medicare.gov provides an outline of the facilities and services covered[2] under Medicare Part A.
Shopping for medicare part a:
  • A Medicare packet -- with coverage information, a Medicare card and a questionnaire -- is automatically mailed to individuals three months before their 65th birthday. People who apply for Social Security retirement or survivors' benefits before age 65 do not have to submit a separate application for Medicare. The annual Medicare & You[3] handbook covers all aspects of Medicare.
  • To qualify for Medicare, an individual must be either a citizen or a permanent legal resident of the United States. Medicare.gov explains who is eligible[4] for Medicare and provides a confidential eligibility tool[5] .
  • Most people pay no premium fees for Medicare Part A (because they contributed by payroll deduction for the minimum time period), so typically they sign up for Part A as soon as they turn 65, even if they're still working or covered under a spouse's health insurance policy. Signing up for Medicare is done at Social Security offices, and often the Medicare paperwork will be filed at the same time as registering for Social Security benefits.
  • Signing up for or switching back to Medicare Part A can also be done during the annual general enrollment period, which is Jan. 1 to March 31 of each year, with coverage starting the following July 1.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.medicare.gov/coverage/your-medicare-coverage.html
  2.  /questions.medicare.gov/
  3.  www.medicare.gov/Library/PDFNavigation/PDFInterim.asp?Language=English&Type=Pub&Pu...
  4.  www.medicare.gov/MedicareEligibility/home.asp?dest=NAV%7CHome%7CGeneralEnrollment&...
  5.  www.medicare.gov/MedicareEligibility/home.asp?version=alternate&browser=Chrome%7C3...
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