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Learn about Medicare

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. It helps pay for medically necessary inpatient hospital stays for the first 60 days of a benefit period after you have met your deductible. Part A also helps pay for some health and hospice care. Parts A and B are Original Medicare. Talk to your doctor about medically necessary treatments and ask if Medicare will cover them.

When should you sign up?

If you're automatically enrolled, you don't need to sign up. There is no late fee for not signing up when you're first eligible. You can also sign up during the General Enrollment Period, between January 1–March 31 each year.

Is there a monthly premium?

You usually don't pay a monthly premium if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. If you aren't eligible for premium-free Part A, you may be able to buy it. You'd need to have Part B and pay monthly premiums for both Part A and Part B.

In general, Part A covers:

  • Hospital stays
  • Critical access hospitals
  • Inpatient rehabilitation facilities
  • Inpatient care in a religious, non-medical health care institution
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Nursing home care (as long as custodial care isn't the only care needed)
  • Hospice care
  • Home health services
  • Lab tests, X-rays and radiation treatment received as an inpatient
  • Surgeries

What's not covered:

  • Most doctor services received in the hospital. Doctor services are covered under Part B
  • Personal services such as a television or telephone in a hospital room
  • Custodial care such as help with eating, bathing or dressing
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