Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care. Inpatient hospital care generally means that you are registered as an inpatient and have been at the hospital for more than 23 hours. If you are under observation, that isn’t considered inpatient care and can affect your payments.
Medicare Part A also covers skilled nursing facility care (up to 100 days). Medicare Part A will pay for skilled nursing care if you are coming from a three-day hospital stay as an inpatient and are released into a skilled nursing facility.
Medicare Part A does not pay for custodial or long-term care. Medicare Part A will cover hospice care and some home healthcare. Medicare Part A has a $1,408 per benefit period deductible in 2020. A benefit period begins when you enter the hospital and ends when you have been out of the hospital for 60 days.
Medicare Part A is free for 99% of Medicare benefciaries. It is free if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for 40 quarters or 10 years. If you haven’t met that qualification, you can still buy Medicare Part A. In 2019, Medicare Part A premiums were as high as $458 per month.