We all have to face the facts. None of us can stop time; we’re all getting older, and we’ll all need to think about future medical care and medical insurance needs. That is why knowledge about medical care and insurance for people above retirement age is essential.
After all, it is something everyone will end up going through – why not learn about it as soon as possible? Medicare is our country’s primary health insurance program for people over the age of 65, but it can be confusing and is divided up into many parts. That’s why we’re here to help you learn everything you need to know about Medicare part A.
Medicare has four parts, labeled A, B, C, and D. Parts A and B are considered Original Medicare, while C and D are more recent options.
The main thing to know about Medicare Part A is that it covers hospital insurance, but not anything long-term. Confused? Don’t worry! Finding an agent to advise you on different packages is a great way to navigate insurance, and a company like Policy Solver, is a business dedicated to acquiring insurance care for clients, and here to help answer the question: what is Medicare Part A?
A General Outlook on Medicare Part A
First, we will need to outline what exactly Medicare Part A is! While insurance agents can help you find the best packages and work through the most complicated medical jargon, it’s still important to know the basics yourself.
- What is Medicare Part A?
To put it simply, Medicare Part A is your emergency insurance. Any sudden medical emergency like a fall, stroke, or severe injury that requires hospitalization will rack up a big hospital bill. Medicare Part A is meant to help with the cost of hospitalization and inpatient treatment while you recover. Typically, people do not typically pay a premium for Medicare Part A (premium is the monthly fee most insurances require).
You might find yourself in the hospital for a car crash, or even require a nursing home or caretaker after a serious accident. If that happens, Medicare Part A will be essential in covering the costs. This can help you get rid of that stress and focus on what matters – getting better!
- How Does Medicare Part A Compare to Other Parts of Medicare, Like B, C, or D?
Alright, so Medicare Part A is emergency insurance. How does that make it different from the other primary parts? Well, healthcare can cover a variety of different things. It would be impossible to sort through every possible situation! That’s why Medicare is divided up into four parts, with Part A being emergencies and inpatient treatment costs. Let’s review the other three parts!
- Part B. This is the second part of Original Medicare, which is meant to cover many but not all of your healthcare expenses. Part B covers your doctor and outpatient visits, such as trips in an ambulance, testing, and the cost of medical equipment. The primary difference between Part A and Part B is that Part B is less for emergency situations and used more for outpatient treatment.
- Part C. This is the beginning of the two more recent additions to Medicare! It offers Medicare Advantage, a private health insurance that serves as a different service from the federal Medicare. If you want Part C, you choose a Medicare Advantage insurer and your plan will typically include everything Medicare covers with a few extra benefits.
- Part D. This plan is bought through a private insurer, and it covers some of the cost of prescription drugs. The different plans have premium or out of pocket costs, so how much you pay will depend on your individual plan.
These are the differences between Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. It can be confusing and stressful to navigate, which is why we always recommend working with an agent like the customer-focused team at Policy Solver.
What Does Medicare Part A Cover?
Of course, emergency insurance itself is not a very clear term. You may be asking yourself what exactly qualifies as an emergency, or how long Medicare Part A would cover inpatient treatments for a very serious accident with a long recovery time. Maybe you aren’t even sure enough about it to form questions! That’s why we’re going to break down for you exactly what Medicare Part A covers.
- Hospital Inpatient Care
As you can guess from the name, inpatient care refers to every treatment or care aspect you receive in the hospital while you are an overnight patient. Inpatient care begins whether you spend one night in the hospital or a few weeks and only ends once you are allowed to return home.
It is important to know the difference between inpatient care and observation status. Observation status is when you do have a bed within the hospital but your condition is unclear and simply needs to be monitored over the course of about 48 hours. Medicare Part A does not cover observation status, but it does cover inpatient care. Inpatient
- Nursing Home Care and Skilled Nursing Facility Care
Next, Medicare Part A covers treatment at a skilled nursing facility, which is an inpatient rehabilitation and treatment center. Skilled nursing facilities generally are not for long-term care, but rehab and treatment to recover from an accident or emergency injury.
Medicare Part A also covers some of the cost of a nursing home, as long as the treatment is not long-term or custodial. Custodial care refers to assistance needed for daily tasks like getting out of bed or taking medication, and is generally the result of old age or long-term illness not defined as an emergency.
- Hospice Care
Medicare Part A can also cover a portion of the costs of hospice care. Hospice care is generally a last resort, and is meant to help improve the quality of life and easing of pain and symptoms for terminally ill patients. Unlike other treatment options described here, hospice care is not focused on recovery but rather improving the time a patient has left.
If you are unsure about if hospice care will be covered for you or a loved one, you can speak to your doctor and health care provider with questions. Hospice care is available at a variety of areas: home, the hospital, a nursing home, etc. This is a good thing that allows patient comfort, but it can also make the coverage process confusing.
- Home Health Care
Home health care covers a variety of different services, such as physical and occupational therapy, part-time health aide services, injecting certain drugs, and even speech services! The main link between services is that all take place for a short time at a person’s home, usually visited by a healthcare professional.
Remember that Medicare Part A does not cover custodial services or 24-hour-a-day required assistance. If you or a loved one require such services, speak to an insurance professional about coverage aside from Medicare Part A.
These are the main components covered by Medicare Part A. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to a doctor, insurance provider, or an insurance company for a consultation.
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Who is Medicare Part A For?
Luckily, there is not really a difference between people who qualify for Medicare and people who qualify for Medicare Part A. Unlike other Medicare parts, you do not have to make a separate plan in order to obtain Part A status; Medicare and Medicare Part A go hand in hand!
Generally speaking, Medicare Part A is for anybody over 65 years of age. This is the age minimum required to obtain Medicare. However, age is not the only factor. Younger people with certain disabilities can also qualify for Medicare and medicare supplement insurance, which is a fact that not many people know.
Medicare Part A is also available premium-free for people who meet specific qualifications. If you or your spouse have worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years, you are able to qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A. This means that you will save money each month, as opposed to spending it on your health insurance.
You can also qualify for premium-free Medicare part A if you get Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, are qualified to get benefits but have not begun the process, or if you or your spouse had government employment that included Medicare. Check with an insurance agent to see if you are eligible for premium-free Medicare! Otherwise, it is available with premiums for anyone over 65 years of age or anyone with a covered disability, such as kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant.
The Advantages of Medicare Part A
Far and away, the best advantage of Medicare Part A is the coverage it provides in the case of an emergency or accident. No matter how much you try to avoid it, accidents do happen. A slip on icy stairs or not paying attention at a stoplight while driving are common occurrences, as are bigger emergencies like a stroke or heart attack. We cannot ever truly avoid getting into emergency situations, so it’s important to get emergency insurance coverage to be prepared.
Having Medicare Part A lessens the burden on you and your family in times of crisis. In an emergency, the last thing you should be worrying about is how to pay for the hospital bed you’re sleeping in! Medicare Part A covers more than just a few days; you have up to 60 days of inpatient treatment at least partially covered, after which coinsurance or additional payments begin.
Another advantage of Medicare Part A is that the majority of people qualify for premium-free. Since being eligible for or receiving Social Security (beginning at age 62 or 67) qualifies you for premium-free Medicare Part A, it is highly likely that you won’t need to pay any Part A premiums! This saves you money and makes having emergency insurance easier.
Medicare Part A is not just for physical emergencies – it covers mental health emergencies as well, and will pay for up to 190 days of inpatient psychiatric care in one lifetime. This is a big advantage that can increase your feelings of safety and security.
Is Medicare Part A Worth it?
After all this, you are likely asking yourself if Medicare Part A is worth it for you. While it really depends on your own unique circumstances and health condition, in general Medicare Part A is definitely worth it in the long run. This is because, as we’ve discussed, the risk of an emergency or serious accident is always present. Emergency hospital bills and inpatient rehab and recovery can be incredibly expensive, so Medicare Part A will earn its weight in gold eventually.
It can also be worth it given the fact that the majority of users will not have to pay anything in premium fees. However, keep in mind that Medicare Part A comes with an annual deductible per benefit period. A deductible is the amount of money that you pay on your own before your insurance plan kicks in.
In the end, the question of whether or not Medicare Part A is worth it is up to you! Consider meeting with an insurance agent at Policy Solver to discuss more.
Where Can I Find Out More and Get Advice on Medicare Part A?
Choosing the right advisor is another difficult task. If you are looking to find out more about Medicare Part A, you can’t go wrong with Policy Solver’s quality services.
Policy Solver has knowledgeable, licensed agents who are here to help you navigate through your disability insurance journey. We are a team of professional insurance policy brokers and we can save you time and money while ensuring that you find the right policy for your specific needs.
Our experienced advisors will ask you a few questions to understand your unique situation. Next, they will come up with a comprehensive analysis of different insurance plans so they will be able to recommend the best policy at the best price for you!
Sources (in order of use)
Christian, Rachel. “Medicare Part A: Hospital and Hospice Insurance.” RetireGuide, 2021, https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/coverage/part-a/.
“What Is Original Medicare?” AARP, https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-qa-tool/what-is-original-medicare/.
(DCD), Digital Communications Division. “What Is Medicare Part C?” HHS.gov, 20 Oct. 2021, https://www.hhs.gov/answers/medicare-and-medicaid/what-is-medicare-part-c/index.html
“Inpatient Care.” Medicareresources.org, 4 Sept. 2020, https://www.medicareresources.org/glossary/inpatient-care/.
“What Part A Covers.” Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/what-part-a-covers.
(DCD), Digital Communications Division. “Who Is Eligible for Medicare?” HHS.gov, 8 Nov. 2021, https://www.hhs.gov/answers/medicare-and-medicaid/who-is-eligible-for-medicare/index.html.
“Inpatient Hospital Care.” Inpatient Hospital Care Coverage, https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/inpatient-hospital-care.
B., Maria. “What Are My Medicare Part A Benefits? – Ehealthmedicare.” E-Health Medicare, 2021, https://www.ehealthmedicare.com/original-medicare-articles/what-are-my-medicare-part-a-benefits/.