Understanding Medicare – One Plan at a Time

Find information about what services Medicare Part A covers, who’s eligible to receive its benefits, and how to enroll.

Understanding the Medicare process and enrolling in the plans that are right for you can be a daunting task. In this series of posts we’ll be taking a close look at each of the Medicare plans with the hope of providing the information to make this necessary step of life a bit easier.

Medicare – Part A – Hospital Insurance 

Parts A, B, and D of Medicare all serve a different purpose. Part A provides hospital insurance.  Almost everyone over the age of 65 is eligible to receive it, but some may have to pay for it.

Eligibility/Enrollment

If you qualify for Social Security benefits, you receive Medicare Part A coverage at no cost. If you never paid Medicare tax while working, you are not eligible to receive Part A free of charge but, you still may qualify to purchase coverage.

You are eligible for free coverage and will be automatically enrolled if:

  • You are 65 years old and are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board  (RBB) benefits
  • You are under 65 and have been receiving Social Security Disability benefits for 24 months(24 month waiting period is waived for sufferers of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS))
  • You have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and meet certain requirements

In order to be eligible to purchase Part A, you must fall into one of these categories:

  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident and at least 65 years old
  • Younger than 65 years old and your Part A coverage ended because of employment

To sign up to purchase Part A, you should contact the Social Security Administration office three months prior to your 65th birthday and tell them you’d like to enroll. You can also sign-up online at www.socialsecurity.gov/retirement. After enrolling, you will receive your Medicare Card and your coverage will begin the first day of the month that you turn 65. You can sign up during the seven month period that starts three months before your birthday and ends four months after. For information on the cost of purchasing Part A, visit – http://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-a-costs/part-a-costs.html

What does it Cover?

As the name implies, Part A – Hospital Insurance covers expenses incurred from hospital visits. Coverage includes:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Home health care
  • Hospice care
  • Inpatient care in a Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institution

If you have questions choosing a Medicare plan that offers the coverage you need, contact us at MedicareSolutions at 1-800-328-7305 where a licensed sales agent will immediately assist you.

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