What is Medicare Part A?


Medicare Part A is the hospital insurance portion of Medicare. It covers inpatient care in hospitals. This includes critical access hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. It also covers inpatient stays in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long term care), hospice care services, home health care services, and inpatient care in a religious non-medical health care institution. If you have Part A, “HOSPITAL (PART A)” is printed on your red, white, and blue Medicare card.

You usually don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. If you aren’t eligible for premium free Part A, you may be able to buy it if you meet one of these conditions:

-You didn’t work or didn’t pay enough Medicare taxes while you worked and you are age 65 or older -You are disabled and have returned to work.

The 2011 Part A premium amount for people who buy Part A is up to $461 each month. In most cases, if you choose to buy Part A, you must also have or enroll in Part B and pay the monthly Part B premium. If you have limited income and resources, your state may help you pay for Part A and/or Part B.

Andy Lockridge is a licensed life and health independent insurance agent specializing in the senior market. Since 1995, he has been assisting seniors throughout the state of Arizona with questions regarding Medicare, long term care, home health care, life insurance, and annuities. The information contained in this article is informational only and is not intended for legal purposes. Andy can be reached at 602-228-6992 or at andy@lockridgeandassociates.com.

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