There are many layers to the federal Medicare program. Let us help you figure out where to begin. We'll break down Medicare into manageable pieces, so you know if you qualify for Medicare coverage, what coverage is available in your area, and how to get enrolled in a plan that fits your needs.
Medicare Part A is medical insurance that helps pay for medical expenses relating to hospitalization, also known as inpatient expenses. 99% of all Medicare beneficiaries are automatically enrolled in Part A when they first become eligible.
You usually don't pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. This is sometimes called "premium-free Part A."
If you buy Part A, you'll pay up to $441 each month in 2013 ($426 in 2014). But, most people get premium-free Part A. You can get premium-free Part A at 65 if:
If you're under 65, you can get premium-free Part A if:
In most cases, if you choose to buy Part A, you must also have Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) and pay monthly premiums for both.
Medicare covers services (like lab tests, surgeries, and doctor visits) and supplies (like wheelchairs and walkers) considered medically necessary to treat a disease or condition.
If you're in a Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare plan, you may have different rules, but your plan must give you at least the same coverage as Original Medicare. Some services may only be covered in certain settings or for patients with certain conditions.
In general, Part A covers:
2 ways to find out if Medicare covers what you need
Medicare coverage is based on 3 main factors