Medicare Part A FAQs
Understanding Medicare can be very confusing. We have done our best to simplify Medicare Plan A by answering frequently asked questions. Click on the questions below to be taken to each answer.
- How much does Medicare Part A cost?
- What does Medicare Part A cover?
- Who qualifies for Medicare Part A?
- What should I consider when looking into Medicare Part A?
- When & how do I sign up for Medicare Part A?
- What Medicare Plan A coverage changes can I make during Open Enrollment?
- Can Medicare Plan A be canceled?
- What are Medicare Part A premiums?
Who qualifies for Medicare Part A?
To qualify for Part A, you must meet the following:
- You already get retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
- You’re eligible to get Social Security or Railroad benefits but haven’t filed for them yet.
- You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.
- It is extremely rare that someone would have to pay a premium for Part A.
What are some things to consider when looking into Medicare Part A?
- If you are still working and have an HSA compatible program, enrollment into Part A (which is automatic and unavoidable if you start drawing SS benefits) will negate the ability to contribute to the HSA.
- For example, if you are working fulltime and turn 65 in January, you can delay enrollment into Medicare A and still contribute to your HSA account.
- However, if you elect to draw monthly benefits and are automatically enrolled into Part A, (or you accidentally enroll into Medicare Part A because of all the misinformation about turning 65) you are no longer eligible to contribute to the HSA account.
- With the popularity of HSA plans at work, along with people working past 65, this is something that is becoming more of a common “mistake” so we suggest speaking with a professional to make sure you are guided properly!
Can I make Part A coverage changes during Open Enrollment?
- A person wouldn’t really modify Medicare Part A during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (which runs from 10/15 – 12/7) since Medicare Part A is a required component of all Medicare supplements, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage programs.
- For example, switching from a Medicare Supplement program to Medicare Advantage would not change the requirement of maintaining Medicare Part A coverage.
What are Medicare Part A premiums?
- If you buy Part A, you’ll pay up to $422 each month in 2018. If you paid Medicare taxes for less than 30 quarters, the standard Part A premium is $422. If you paid Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters, the standard Part A premium is $232.
- In most cases, if you choose to buy Part A, you must also have Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) and pay monthly premiums for both. Contact Social Security for more information about the Part A premium.
- Some people automatically get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance). Learn how and when you can sign up for Part A.
- Note: the premiums (like the $422) will increase/change annually so we would need a review on this to make sure our info is accurate.
- *Medicare Part A cost references from here