Introduction to Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A is an important aspect of the federal government’s health insurance program. Depending on your age and circumstances, you may be required to enroll in this network. However, you may also be eligible to purchase Medicare Part A coverage if you do not qualify to enroll automatically. Regardless, it is important to learn how to sign up for Medicare Part A at some point in your adulthood.
Before you obtain Medicare Part A benefits, you may have specific questions about this program. For example, many people wonder, “Is Medicare Part A free?” or other similar questions. Before you apply to receive support through this federal initiative, you need to understand how it functions.
Medicare Part A Eligibility
When determining who qualifies for free Medicare Part A, the Social Security Administration (SSA) takes into account different aspects of applicants’ candidacy. Generally, you can only qualify for this free medical insurance if you:
- Have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
- Are disabled.
- Are at least 65 years of age.
Additionally, Part A Medicare eligibility has requirements relating to you or your immediate relatives’ earnings histories. Usually, this means you, a spouse or a child paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of 10 years. You may also not need to pay a Medicare Part A premium if you receive or qualify for Social Security or Railroad benefits.
How to Apply for Medicare Part A
You can file your Medicare Part A application using various methods. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for Medicare Part A online. However, keep in mind that there are specific requirements you must meet to utilize this digital application. For example, you must be:
- At least 64 years and nine months of age, which is the main Medicare Part A age requirement.
- Not currently enrolled in Medicare or Social Security benefits for retirement, survivors or disability.
- Willing to wait to start collecting Social Security benefits at a later date.
If you are wondering how to sign up for Medicare Part A and you do not meet these requirements, remember there are other ways you can apply. For example, you can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and file your request by phone. You can also report to a nearby Social Security office and submit your Medicare Part A application form in person. Furthermore, keep in mind that you have the option to apply for Medicare Part A only. You do not need to apply for Social Security retirement benefits in order to enroll in Medicare.
How much is Medicare Part A?
You may be wondering, “How much is the Medicare Part A premium?” If you qualify as a disabled applicant or an applicant with ESRD, you can receive free Medicare Part A. You can also receive this health insurance part at no cost to you if you are 65 years of age or older. However, if you do not qualify for Medicare Part A, you can still choose to purchase this insurance. In these scenarios, the premium you can expect to pay varies, depending on your work and earnings history.
What is the deductible for Medicare Part A?
There is a Medicare Part A deductible associated with your insurance plan. For 2019, the deductible is $1,364 for each benefit period. Furthermore, your benefit period can last a maximum of 60 days.
What does Medicare Part A cover?
Medicare Part A is one of four individual program parts you can enroll in. Each part of Medicare is responsible for providing enrollees with coverage for specific services. If you enroll in this benefits package, you can receive benefits to help cover the costs of:
- Home health care or hospice care.
- Care at qualified nursing facilities.
- Inpatient, short-term care at hospitals or nursing home centers.
Does Medicare Part A cover emergency room visits?
Medicare Part A emergency room coverage is available in specific situations. Generally, your Medicare plan will cover your hospital visit if you have a doctor’s orders instructing you to go to a hospital. However, you would need Medicare Part B if you need to be admitted to the hospital for unforeseen injuries or illnesses. Keep this in mind when you are planning which program parts you should enroll in.
Does Medicare Part A cover outpatient surgery?
Medicare Part A outpatient services are not included with this medical plan. If you need to have a same-day surgery performed, Medicare Part B covers this procedure.
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