Medicare Part A is the main coverage plan of the overall Medicare insurance program. Medicare Part A has as its primary function to cover expenses related to inpatient hospital stays and treatments. Part A also covers expenses and treatments related to debilitating injuries, illnesses, accidents, traumas and diseases. Medicare Part A also covers hospice stays.
What is a hospice facility? A hospice facility houses patients suffering from terminal illnesses. Medicare Part A also covers stays in nursing home facilities under special, limited circumstances. Each company offering Part A outlines what is, or is not, covered by their policy. It is not a one-size-fits-all policy so make sure to review it carefully.
Home health care services such as visits from doctors/nurses, home-based physical therapy and some counseling/mental health providers are also potentially covered under Medicare Part A.
Medicare Part A is free to every enrollee 65 or older who paid taxes during his or her working years.
Part A is also free to retired Railroad workers, applicable spouses of Medicare enrollees and other qualified individuals with specific disabilities.
Medicare Part A generally does not carry any additional out-of-pocket expenses for those automatically qualified. The program is also available for purchase by people who are not qualified to receive it automatically and/or for free.
Part A premiums range between approximately $250 and $450 per month when purchased outright. They are purchased either through the healthcare marketplace online, or from private insurance companies near you. If you are purchasing Part A on your own make sure to compare costs across several companies to ensure you get the best price for the most coverage.