Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. It pays for about 80 percent of all covered inpatient procedures. Part A also pays for home health care services or skilled nursing facility services following a period of hospitalization, but it does not pay for long-term care.
Your Part A insurance also covers some therapies required part-time or intermittently. This assists people who are unable to leave the home get the care they need, including blood transfusions.
Medicare Part A is private-fee-for-service insurance. That means it will pay any qualified healthcare provider in the United States that accepts Medicare’s standard rates.
Part A benefits are available to you throughout the United States, including U.S. territories. However, be aware that when you use a provider that does not accept Medicare rate assignment, you are responsible for paying all overages.
How Much Does Medicare Part A Cost?
If you or your spouse worked at least ten years your Medicare Part A has no cost. You already paid through payroll tax deductions. If you did not make the required Social Security contributions then you will pay a monthly premium.
If you are required to pay a monthly premium to receive Part A and you don’t enroll when first eligible (normally at age 65), your premium will increase by 10%. This is a late enrollment penalty. The 2013 Part A monthly premium is $441.
For everyone with Medicare benefits, you are required to pay an annual deductible before Part A begins paying its portion of your hospitalization costs. The 2013 Part A deductible is $1,156. This increases each year with the cost of living.
How Much are Medicare Part A Co-Payments?
With extended hospitalization or convalescence at a skilled nursing facility you will incur co-payments for your portion of the costs. The 2013 co-pays are as follows:
- For extended stays in the hospital, you’ll pay $289 per day for days 61 through 90 and $578 per day for days 91 through 150.
- When you use a skilled nursing facility for an extended period of time you will pay $144.50 for days 21 through 100 that you stay.
- You will also have to pay a $5 co-payment for each medication you receive in hospice care as an outpatient.
As you can see, the co-payment can add up fast. You can eliminate the risk of having high hospital bills by purchasing a Medicare Supplement policy.