What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Medicare Part A?


Quick Answer

Depending on work records or a spouse's work records, the majority of people over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicare Part A, according to Nolo. Anyone who is at least 65 and doesn't qualify for Medicare Part A can pay a monthly fee to receive coverage.

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Full Answer

Part A of Medicare only pays for a specific percentage of a hospital bill for a single benefit period, which is the length of the person's medical treatment, notes Nolo. This period starts the day the person checks into a skilled nursing facility or hospital as an inpatient, and ends when the person has been out of the facility or hospital for a full 60 days. Any time that the person spends in and out of the hospital or nursing facility before a full 60 days has passed is considered part of the same benefit period.

The rules for Medicare Part A differ according to the type of care facility at which a person receives treatment, such as a psychiatric hospital, skilled nursing facility and standard hospital, states Nolo. Rules also differ according to whether treatment is received through a hospice or at the patient's home.

Anyone covered by Part A first has to pay an initial amount before Medicare coverage kicks in, according to Nolo. This initial amount increases annually on the first day of January.

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