As you reach retirement age, you’ll likely start to wonder about where you’ll receive health insurance. Most peoples’ employer-sponsored plans end with retirement. However, senior citizens, and many other Americans, receive their benefits through Medicare. Original Medicare, as the primary program is known, contains two parts—Medicare Part A & Part B. Let’s take a closer look at Medicare Part A.
Part A coverage is essentially the primary type of Medicare that all enrollees receive. Generally, it covers the most-essential medical services that policyholders often need.
What’s Medicare Part A?
The U.S. government started the Medicare program over 50 years ago to help senior citizens, those with disabilities and certain others get health insurance. Most people recognize Medicare because, if you are part of the workforce, you will likely pay the federal Medicare Tax with every paycheck. That tax funds the Medicare health insurance program.
Most people get Medicare when they turn 65 years old. Medicare Part A is at the top of the list that you will receive. Everyone who enrolls in Medicare automatically gets Part A. Part A is the health insurance that will help you with a variety of the most-expensive health care needs that senior citizens encounter.
What does it cover?
Medicare Part A is not all-inclusive coverage. By law, it will only include certain coverage. It generally covers:
- Inpatient care costs in a hospital, skilled nursing or long-term care hospital.
- Short-term care in a skilled nursing facility.
- Hospice care.
- Home-health care.
If you have an enhanced version of Medicare, like a Medicare Advantage plan, you will receive at least the above benefits. However, you might be able to receive other benefits.
Keep in mind, Part A by itself won’t cover all of your health care costs.
For example, if you need a checkup, you’ll likely need coverage from Medicare Part B. If you want coverage for prescription drugs, you’ll probably need a Medicare Part D prescription plan.
What does it cost?
The costs associated with Medicare Part A plans vary.
- Many Americans pay nothing for their premiums. However, you must have paid into the Medicare system for a certain number of tax terms to qualify for $0 premiums.
- Coinsurance and deductibles will apply to certain costs of care.
- Not all doctors accept Medicare, so before seeking care, make sure a provider will accept your plan.
Again, if you buy Medicare Part B, Medigap plans or Advantage plans, your personal cost obligations will vary.
When you become eligible for Medicare, talk to your local plan administrator to determine how to approach your Part A coverage. Your advisor can help you through the enrollment process.
Also Read: Does Original Medicare Cover Any Medication Costs?