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 $471 per month
Deductible: $1,484 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.
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.