Part A

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.

What's covered:

  • 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 or
  • Acupuncture
  • Most chiropractic services

What does Part A cost?

Premium: $0

  • 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.