On a Medicare card Part A will have the word “Hospital” beside it. Because of that Medicare Part A is most commonly known as the inpatient or hospitalization part of Medicare. This means when a Medicare beneficiary is admitted into the hospital most of the services that are received are filed under Medicare Part A. This sounds simple but sometimes it’s not.
Medicare Part A has a deductible of $1,484 per benefit period. Notice two things here. First is the deductible of $1,484. If you are admitted into the hospital and had Original Medicare only, you would owe the first $1,484 of your stay. This deductible covers hospital services, including semi-private rooms, meals, general nursing, drugs as part of your inpatient treatment, and other hospital services and supplies.
The second thing to notice is the term “benefit period”. This tells you the deductible is not an annual deductible but could hit you more than once in a calendar year. A “benefit period” begins when you are discharged from a hospital or skilled nursing facility and ends when you haven’t received any inpatient care for 60 consecutive days. If you are admitted as an inpatient after the 60 days of no inpatient care a new benefit period begins, meaning another $1,484 deductible. Also if you are confined to the hospital for 60 consecutive days your deductible will cover you but on the 61st day you will begin paying a coinsurance.
The good news is for most Medicare beneficiaries Part A is free. Free meaning you don’t pay a premium for it. The reason for this is while you are working you pay 1.45% of your pay check into Medicare. If you did that for 40 quarters you’re entitled to Part A for free. Next week will discuss the other benefits of Medicare Part A.
If you have questions regarding any aspect of Medicare or Medicare health plans feel free call us at Alabama Health Guidance (256-648-5710), stop by our office at 885 Florence Blvd (Four Lane Shopping Center) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.