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What is Medicare Part A?

Part A provides most of your institutional coverage. It covers inpatient care in hospitals, inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care), hospice care services, home health care services and inpatient care in a religious nonmedical health care institution.

Part A also covers blood. If the hospital uses a blood bank, you probably won’t pay anything for replacement blood. If the hospital purchases blood, then you will likely pay for the first three units of blood each year unless blood was donated for your use.

Part A provides coverage for inpatient hospital services, up to 100 days of post-hospital skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, some home health services, and hospice care. Patients must pay a deductible ($1,556 in 2022) each time their hospital admission begins a benefit period. (A benefit period begins when a patient enters a hospital and ends when she has not been in a hospital or SNF for 60 days.) Medicare pays the remaining costs for the first 60 days of hospital care. The limited number of beneficiaries requiring care beyond 60 days are subject to additional charges. Patients requiring SNF care are subject to a daily coinsurance charge for days 21-100 ($194.50 in 2022). There are no cost-sharing charges for home health care and limited charges for hospice care.

Most people don’t have to pay a monthly payment, called a premium, for Part A. This is because they or a spouse paid Medicare taxes while they were working. If you (or your spouse) didn’t pay Medicare taxes while you worked and you are age 65 or older, you may be able to buy Part A.

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