Part A: Hospital visits
Part A covers hospital stays, nursing home stays, some home care, and hospice care. Most people don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A, but there is a deductible.
- Hospital expenses for inpatient hospital stays (e.g. meals, supplies, tests, accommodations)
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Nursing homes
- Hospice care
- Some part-time, medically necessary home health care (physical, occupational, and speech therapy)
- Some medical equipment (e.g. walkers and wheelchairs)
- Prescription drugs taken as part of inpatient hospital or skilled nursing facility treatment
What's not covered:
- Routine eye exams and most eyeglasses
- Dental care and dentures (with only a few exceptions)
- Outpatient prescription drugs prescribed by your doctor
- Gym memberships or fitness classes
- Weight management programs
- Routine hearing tests
- Custodial care (help with bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, and eating) at home or in a nursing home
- Long-term care (for information about paying for long-term care, visit longtermcare.acl.gov or eldercare.acl.gov
- Most chiropractic services
What does Part A cost?
- If you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while employed, like most people, Part A is premium-free.
- Otherwise, you pay $499 per month.
Deductible: $1,600 per Benefit Period
- Hospital stays have a deductible (skilled nursing facility stays do not).
- Deductible must be paid before Medicare begins paying for your Medicare Part A related costs.
- Deductible may need to be paid for each hospital stay depending on how close together they are because Original Medicare measures hospital stays by benefit periods.
A Benefit Period is the timeframe for coverage beginning the day you enter a hospital or skilled nursing facility and ending when you’ve gone 60 days in a row without receiving any inpatient hospital care or care in a skilled nursing facility.
- There is no limit to the number of Benefit Periods.
- You must pay the Medicare Part A deductible for each new Benefit Period.
Lifetime Reserve Days
A provision of Original Medicare; you have a total of 60 reserve days for use during your lifetime that Medicare will pay for when you are in a hospital for more than 90 days.