Q:

What costs and benefits are associated with Medicare Part A?

A:

Quick Answer

Medicare Part A hospital insurance covers hospital stays, skilled nursing facility stays, limited nursing home care, and hospice care and other home services. Medicare Part A is premium-free for those who qualify for Social Security benefits but involves considerable deductibles and copayments.

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What costs and benefits are associated with Medicare Part A?
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Full Answer

Medicare Part A hospital coverage includes semi-private rooms, meals, nursing, inpatient drugs and other services and supplies during a hospital stay. A stay at a skilled nursing care facility includes not only a semi-private room, meals and drugs, but also skilled nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language services and dietary counseling. Hospice service involves at-home hospice care by a team that includes doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers and other hospice aids.

Medicare Part A pays for only a portion of costs and expects the patient to pay the balance in deductibles and copayments. For instance, as of 2015, inpatient hospital care carries an initial deductible during each benefit period of $1,260. After the deductible, there is no additional coinsurance charge to the patient for the first 60 days. However, for the next 30 days, the patient pays $315 per day of coinsurance, and for each day after the first 90 days, the patient pays $630 coinsurance per day for the next 60 days. After this, the patient pays all costs.

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