What is Medicare Part A?

Medicare Part A helps cover your inpatient care in hospitals, critical access hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care). It also helps cover hospice care and some home health care.
What is Medicare Part A?

Most people are not charged for Medicare Part A. If you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years, you are exempt from paying a premium for Part A. There is a deductible and copay for Part A. Part A deductibles are calculated for each benefit period, which runs from the day of admission to the day you leave the hospital for 60 consecutive days.

## What is Covered by Medicare Part AHospital fees and the majority of the treatments you receive while in the hospital are covered by Medicare Part A. This can include:* A semi-private room* Hospital meals* Skilled nursing services* Care in special units, like intensive care* Drugs, medical equipment, and supplies used during an inpatient stay* X-rays, lab tests, and other inpatient medical supplies* Operating room and recovery room services* Some blood transfusions in a hospital or skilled nursing facility* Services for rehabilitation that are either inpatient or outpatient following a qualified hospital stay* Part-time, skilled care for the homebound### Inpatient Hospital CareAfter being formally admitted to a hospital by a doctor, you will receive this type of care. In addition to 60 lifetime reserve days, you are covered for up to 90 days in a general hospital throughout each benefit term. In addition, 190 lifetime days in a psychiatric hospital are covered by Medicare.### Skilled Nursing FacilityMedicare pays for lodging, board, and a variety of services offered in a skilled nursing facility, such as medication administration, tube feedings, and wound care. If you are eligible for coverage, you are protected for a maximum of 100 days per benefit period. In order to be eligible, you must have received skilled nursing or therapy services for at least three consecutive days in a hospital within 30 days of your admission to the skilled nursing facility.### HospiceIf a healthcare professional believes that you are terminally ill, you may choose to receive this care. As long as your provider verifies that you require care, you are covered. In a hospice, Part A offers general nursing care, which may include drugs that assist individuals with a terminal illness in managing their symptoms and controlling discomfort.### Home HealthcareIf you are confined to your home and require skilled care, Medicare will pay for those services. You are covered for an unlimited number of intermittent care visits or up to 100 days of daily care. You must have spent at least three continuous days as a hospital inpatient within 14 days of obtaining home health care in order to be eligible for Part A coverage. (Note: If you do not satisfy all of the requirements for Part A coverage, you can still receive home health care under Medicare Part B.)> Note: Remember that Medicare frequently only covers a percentage of the cost of your treatment; you will likely be liable for some cost-sharing (deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) for services that are covered by Medicare.## What does Part A not cover?There are a few items or services not covered by original Medicare Part A, such as:* Personal expenses while hospitalized, like a TV or phone service* Most care outside of the United States* Custodial support (care that helps with daily life activities, like eating and bathing)* Long-term care* Days spent in a mental health facility that go over predetermined limits* Hospital stays beyond certain set limits* Private rooms, unless medically necessary* Cosmetic procedures* Private nursing care* Doctors fees during an inpatient stay, although Part B covers this* Long-term resident fees for nursing homes or assisted living facility* Dentures* The majority of dental care## What does part A cost?If a person has paid Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters, they are often not required to pay a premium for Medicare Part A. Depending on how long you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes, the monthly premium for Medicare Part A may vary.Part A is also free of premiums for those who receive retirement payments from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. They might also receive Part A without paying a premium if they or their spouse worked for a government agency that provided coverage for Medicare.### Part A PremiumIf a person is required to pay a Part A premium, the price is based on how many quarters they have paid Medicare taxes.2022 cost based on total amount of time worked:| Total time worked | Part A monthly premium || --- | --- || Part A monthly premium | $0 || 30–39 quarters| $274 || fewer than 30 quarters | $499 |> Note: Just because a premium is free doesn't mean you won't have to pay for medical care. Medicare Part A has additional expenditures, several of which have increased for 2022.### Part A DeductibleA deductible is the price that must be paid out-of-pocket before Part A will begin to pay for your medical expenses. For plan year 2022 this deductible is $1,556 for each inpatient hospital benefit period.#### Benefit periodThis is how Original Medicare measures your use of hospital and skilled nursing facility services. Your hospital or skilled nursing facility benefit period starts the day you are accepted as an inpatient. If you receive no inpatient hospital care for 60 days in a row (or up to 100 days of skilled nursing facility care), the benefit period is over. Once a benefit period has finished, a new benefit period will start, if you check into a hospital or skilled nursing facility. The hospital inpatient deductible must be paid again for each benefit period. The number of benefit periods has no maximum limit.### Part A CoinsuranceThe cost of your care may require daily coinsurance after you have met your Part A deductible. The length of time you've had inpatient care will determine whether you must pay coinsurance and how much it will cost.For the first 60 days following a hospital stay, there is no coinsurance. For days 61 through 90, there is a $389 daily coinsurance; however, on days 91 and thereafter, there is a $778 daily copay. These numbers are based on year 2022.You enter what Medicare refers to as lifetime reserve days after 90 days of hospital inpatient care. Throughout your lifetime, Medicare will cover a total of 60 lifetime reserve days. You are responsible for covering all expenses after using up your lifetime reserve days.Your coinsurance expenses will fluctuate slightly if you are receiving care at a skilled nursing facility. If you are admitted to a skilled nursing facility in 2022, the coinsurance payments will be as follows: | Length of Stay | Coinsurance Cost || --- | --- || Days 0-20 | $0 || Days 21-100 | $195.50 per day || Days 100 and beyond | All cost |

*Coverage year 2022

## What is Part B coverage?Medicare Part B assists in paying for medical expenses not covered by Part A, such as doctor visits, outpatient care, and other services. Part B is not required. When medically necessary, Part B assists in covering the cost of covered medical services and supplies. A few preventative services, like as physicals, lab testing, and vaccinations to help discover, diagnose, or manage a medical issue are also covered in Part B.---Continue reading: [What is Part B Coverage](/medicare/basics/what-is-medicare-part-b)