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Medicare Part A FAQs

How much does Medicare Part A cost?

  • For the majority of people, Medicare Part A is provided at no monthly premium.

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What does Medicare Part A cover?

  • Simply put, Medicare Part A provides coverage for hospitalization services, rehabilitative care in a facility (up to 100 days in a nursing home after a hospital stay of at least 3 days)
  • Click here for more information on Medicare Part A coverage.

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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.

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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!

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When and how do I sign up for Medicare Part A?

  • Assuming you do not have an HSA compatible plan at work, you can enroll in Part A in under 5 minutes at www.ssa.gov.

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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.

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Can Medicare Part A be canceled?

  • Under rare circumstances, Medicare Part A can be canceled.

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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

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