Part A, known as Hospital coverage, assists in the costs for inpatient hospital stay, skilled nursing facility stays, hospice, and home healthcare when it is medically necessary. Most people don’t pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A when new to Medicare. If you or your spouse have worked at least 40 calendar quarters (10 years) in any job where you paid Social Security taxes, you do not have to pay a premium for Part A. Basically, you have already paid into this part of Medicare while you were working.

There are deductibles and copays associated with Part A. For example, you have a deductible when going to a hospital in 2024 of $1632 for every 60 day benefit period; This is NOT a yearly deductible like most employer plans are designed.

A skilled nursing stay is covered for 100 days with a $0 copay for the first 20 days and then $203 copay per day for days 21-100 in 2024. There is a $0 copay for covered home healthcare and hospice care services.

Some individuals get skilled nursing facility stays and long-term care confused. Medicare does NOT cover long-term care, such as extended stays in a nursing home. Long-term care insurance can be looked into separately if that is something you want to plan for.