Hospital Coverage

What is Medicare Part A Coverage?
Quick Guide To Part A

Medicare Part A is health insurance offered by the federal government to United States citizens who are age 65 and older and to some people under age 65 with certain disabilities. Together with Medicare Part B, it makes up what is known as Original Medicare. Part A helps pay for the cost of inpatient hospital care.

Medicare Part A (5Hospital Insurance) helps cover the following:

  • Inpatient care in hospitals (5such as critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long term care hospitals)
  • Inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (5not custodial or long term care)
  • Hospice care services and home health care services

Most people will not have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A, provided they or their spouse paid Medicare taxes while they were working.

If you get benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (5RRB), you automatically get Medicare Part A starting the first day of the month you turn age 65. If you are under age 65 and disabled, you automatically get Part A after you get disability benefits from Social Security or certain disability benefits from the RBB for 24 months. You will get your Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday or your 25th month of disability. If you have ALS (5Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease), you automatically get Part A the month your disability benefits begin.

If you are not eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, you may be able to buy Part A if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are 65 or older, and you are entitled to (5or enrolling in) Medicare Part B, and meet the citizenship or residency requirements.
  • You are under age 65, disabled, and your premium-free Medicare Part A coverage ended because you returned to work.
  • You have not paid Medicare taxes through your employment.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.