What Does Medicare Part A Cover?

Original Medicare Part A costs and coverage

by Ray Wilson+ on Jan 31, 2015 | 13 Comments

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What is Medicare Part A and what does it cover? This is an important question to ask, but many people new to Medicare get confused at the different parts of Medicare. For starters, Original Medicare is made up of two parts: Medicare Part A (which mainly covers hospitalization) and Medicare Part B ( which covers your day-to-day medical coverage). This article will explain Part A but you can read more about Medicare B here

What is Medicare Part A and What Does it Cover?

Medicare Part A is hospitalization coverage. Basically it covers anytime you’re in the hospital, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Hospice or Home Health Services. One thing many people don’t realize is that Medicare Part A, while for most people is premium-free ($0 monthly cost), it still has out of pocket costs and limitations on coverage.

What Will You Pay with Part A?

  • Part A Premium for most people: $0
  • Part A Premium if you do not meet the premium-free qualifications: $437
  • Hospital/Mental Inpatient Benefit Period Deductible* From Day 1-60: $1,408
  • Hospital/Mental Inpatient Coinsurance Days 61-90: $352 per day
  • Hospital/Mental Inpatient Coinsurance Days 91-150 (Lifetime Reserve Days): $704 per day
  • Hospital/Mental Inpatient Costs after Lifetime Reserved Days: 100%
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Coinsurance Days 1-20: $0
  • SNF Coinsurance Days 21-100: $176
  • SNF Coinsurance Beyond Day 100: 100%
  • Hospice Costs**: $0
  • Health Home Services**: $0

*Deductible can be charged multiple times per year, since it is a “benefit period” deductible. For instance, if you enter the hospital on January 5th for one week, you’d be charged the deductible. Then if 60 days pass since your exit from the hospital and you enter the hospital again, say May 15th, you would be charged the Part A deductible again.

**You can still be charged 20% for durable medical equipment through Part B, and in addition, if you are in Hospice care, if you seek respite care you can be charged up to 5%.

What Does Part A Not Cover?

Here are a few things Medicare Part A does not cover: day to day care (that is covered by Part B), hearing aids, dental, vision, acupuncture, non-donated blood, and prescription drugs.

Important Things to Note About What Part A Does Not Cover:
As you can see with Medicare Part A you are partially covered for services, but can still have significant and varying out of pocket costs, and it does not put a cap on your out of pocket spending. One way to limit these costs is to enroll in additional Medicare insurance.

Learn about Medicare Part B

Return to the Senior Medicare FAQ page

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Reader Comments and Questions

By Joseph on March 12, 2020

I have part A and I just had major surgery with a 7-day hospital stay. The lady at the hospital told me that the surgery is not covered by A. I thought if I stayed in the hospital following surgery that the surgery would be covered. My part B is not effective until July. Will my surgery be covered by A?

Your Part A should cover most hospitalization (after the deductible) but may not cover certain surgeries. Our site only provides general information about how medicare works so people will know if they want to purchase supplemental coverage through Senior65. Please check with Medicare directly at 1-800-633-4227 for specific claim-related questions.
-Michelle from Senior65.com

By Manny on April 23, 2019

I have only medicare part A I need a hip replacement. Do part A covers the surgery? Thank you

Medicare Part A may cover your inpatient surgical services and the time you have to spend in the hospital recovering from your hip replacement surgery. It could also cover some physical therapy you may receive in a skilled nursing facility. To know your exact costs you should contact your doctor.
-Chris from Senior65.com

By William on March 22, 2019

I have Medicare Part A only ... I recently went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack ...I had CT scan w contrast, MRI and of course blood work ...the ER treated me for a Stroke Protocol and had me admitted . I spent the night and had another MRI in the morning ...they released me saying I did not have a stroke, but they felt I had Vertigo due to a viral infection deep in my inner ear. My question is : Does Part A pay for any of my hospitalization ?? I think Part B covers the ER ...does Part A help pay for my room ?? Thank you Bill

Medicare Part A should cover a portion of your hospitalization costs. Since you don't have Part B you may be on the hook for ER related expenses. Without a Medigap Plan (Medicare Supplement) you will still be subject to deductibles, copays and the 20% of the Medicare approved amount for the Hospital stay.

If your are interested in getting supplemental insurance in the future, you must first purchase Medicare Part B. Then just a call us at 1-800-930-7956 and we can help you research and enroll.

-Michelle from Senior65.com

By Winnie on March 19, 2019

Fell down stairs. Broke pelvis 6 places plus tail bone. Only have Medicare part A. Had surgery in hospital. I know I have a deductible to pay but no one ever said a word to me . Do I just send to hospital or do they send bill for deducible?

I'm sorry to hear that. They will probably send you a bill but if they don't you should contact Medicare directly.

-Chris from Senior65.com

By ken on January 08, 2019

my wife is 69 fell off our porch and broke her foot in 3 section ...she was rushed imediately by our city rescue squad to garden city hospital emergency and ended up having to get surgery she was considered an inpatient...she stay 3-4 days thats over 2 midnights and discharged on the the 4th day ...she had medicare A......it should most all i believe because of the situation ...i have been told even the doctor surgeon fee will pickup.....i went to michigan social security and i asked why didnt they medicare b when got her card.....at 65 years old ....she paid into the system we are intitled to it to cover this event....when they sent me my card at 65 i got a and b.....somethings not right....please help

Sorry about the accident. In some cases you have to elect Medicare Part B since there is a fee for it. Please contact Medicare directly to address this.
-Chris from Senior65.com

By clara gonsalves on October 26, 2018

hey i turned 66 this september. i was not aware of medicare .when i enroll should i enroll for both medicare part A and B.How much do i pay?..i work as a cashier in subway restuarant...at present i am good in health i have just become a citizen now pl advise.

Since you just became a citizen your situation is unique. You will want to contact Medicare directly at 1-800-633-4227.
-Chris from Senior65.com

By Michael on June 28, 2018

I will be 65 in Sept. I currently only have medical coverage through my Veterans benefits. What do I need to carry for medical coverage in the future ?

Check out our VA article located here. I think it will address your question.
-Eric at Senior65.com

By b on May 01, 2018

Currently I have Part A and w/ill not qualify for Part B until 7 I have a pain in my hip down to my ankle and big toe on my right side. I cannot stand for very long at all. It has been better if I'm walking but now the pain in the leg sometimes limits myability to walk. If I go to Urgent Care or Emergency, will Medicare pay for it? It's so confusing

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers urgent care and emergency department services so if you have Medicare part A only, you would have to pay for those services.
Once you have Medicare Part B, your emergency and urgent care coverage kicks in but comes with deductibles and other out of pocket expenses. You can purchase a Medigap or MA plan to help cover some or all of those costs. We can help you enroll in a supplemental plan once you have part B.
-Michelle from Senior65.com

By Erika on January 27, 2017

Your website says: "Medicare Advantage (MA) requires private companies to REPLACE Original Medicare with, at minimum, the equivalent benefits. While these plans usually have a smaller network of doctors, some MA plans may cover prescriptions, dental or even Medicare deductibles. Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are plans offered by private companies that cover the same benefits offered in Medicare Part A and Part B (as well as some additional benefits not found in traditional Medicare). By selecting a MA plan, you are choosing to have a private company to manage your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. " My question is: If Medicare Advantage Plans simply replace Medicare A and B benefits, what is the advantage of a Medicare Advantage plan over Original Medicare? E.g., why would be "choosing to have a private company manage your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits"?

That advantage of choosing a Medicare Advantage plan over only having Original Medicare is that with MA plans you have max out of pocket, whereas Original Medicare does not put a limit on what you can spend, and with MA plans you can extra coverage like drugs, dental, vision, and hearing. For more info, check out our article that discusses Medicare Advantage's Pros and Cons.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/

By Karen Logan on March 15, 2016

Question: I having bunion surgery, which is an out patient procedure. Does Medicare Part A cover this? I am still employed and have Coventry as my secondary insurance. Does it make a difference if the procedure is done in the hospital as an out patient, or at an out patient clinic?

Out-patient surgery is covered by Part B, hospitalization/surgery in a hospital is covered by Part A. You will want to contact your current insurer to find out how they will cover your out-patient procedure. If you need help finding a Medigap plan to cover your costs, please call us at 800-930-7956.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/

By stephaniel201561@gmail.com on November 22, 2015

Does original Medicare cover doctor visits

Medicare Part B covers doctor's office visits with you paying 20% of the cost, after you meet your Part B deductible. Hope this helps!
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/

By Penny S. on August 05, 2015

This is really informative. I didn't realize that Medicare Part a could cost me so much money out of pocket. How can I avoid these costs (save for staying healthy, obviously)?

You're right Medicare Part A can cost you a lot. There are two options if you don't have job-based or other qualifying coverage: Medicare Advantage (puts a cap on your out of pocket spending to $6700) and Medigap (plans like Medigap F can cover your deductibles, copays, and coinsurance). Hope this helps.
-Chris from https://www.senior65.com/

By Francise Rice on August 02, 2015

Does medicare part a or a or d cover hearing aides? If I lost one hering aid will medicare cover a new one?

Unfortunately, Medicare Part A, B, or D does not cover hearing aids. However, if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan it may include hearing coverage. Contact us at 800-930-7956 if you want help finding a plan that includes hearing coverage.
-Amy from https://www.senior65.com/

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot comment on specific Medicare claims. Contact Medicare directly if you are trying to see if your issue is covered.

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