What Is Medicare Part A?

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. It’s the part of the Medicare insurance plan that pays for hospital stays, skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, hospice care, and home health care. If you have an illness or incident that results in hospitalization and need rehab afterward, this is the insurance that would cover it.  

Who Can Sign Up For Medicare Part A?

You’re generally eligible for Medicare (including Part A) if you’re 65 or older, if you’re a younger person with a disability or you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD). People with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) may also qualify.

What Does Medicare Part A Cost?

Premiums

For most people, Medicare Part A comes with no monthly premium payments — meaning you pay $0 for coverage. 

 

To qualify for Medicare Part A with no premiums, you must be 65 or older and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.

If you’re younger than 65, you qualify if you’ve collected Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months, or if you have ESRD and meet certain requirements. If you have Lou Gehrig’s disease, you qualify the first month you get disability benefits.

What If You Don't Qualify Premium-Free Part A?

If you don’t qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, you’ll pay the following amounts.

  • If you paid Medicare taxes for 30 to 39 quarters: $252/month

  • If you paid Medicare taxes for less than 30 quarters: $458/month

Generally, if you buy Medicare Part A, you must also have Medicare Part B, which is medical insurance, and pay monthly premiums for that as well.