Medicare consists of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Medicare Part A, or hospital insurance, helps cover the following:
- Inpatient hospital care: Can include semi-private room, meals, general nursing, drugs and supplies
- Inpatient skilled nursing facility care: Can include semi-private room, meals, skilled nursing and rehabilitative services and supplies
- Hospice care: Coverage may include drugs, medical services, nursing services, social services for people with a terminal illness who are expected to live 6 months or less
- Home health care services: Can include medically-necessary part time or intermittent skilled nursing care or physical therapy, speech pathology, or occupational therapy
You usually do not have to pay for Medicare Part B if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. If you are not eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, you may buy Part A if you meet the following requirements:
- You are 65 or older and meet citizenship or residency requirements
- You are under 65 and are disabled or have End-Stage Renal Disease
Many people who get benefits from Social Security automatically get Part A on the first day of the month they turn 65. If you arenâ€™t getting Social Security, you will need to sign up for Part A. Make sure you contact Social Security 3 months before you turn 65.
If you are not eligible for premium free- Part A, there are certain times in which you can enroll.
- Initial Enrollment Period: 3 months before to 3 months after you turn 65
- General Enrollment Period: Between January 1 and March 31 of each year
- Special Enrollment Period: If you or your spouse is working and has a group health plan coverage through an employer