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Understanding Medicare Part A: Service Coverage and Understanding Your Options
Medicare part A is an optional part of the Medicare healthcare coverage program. Individuals 65 and older or persons with disabilities are eligible for this coverage. People who have contributed through work wages (Medicare taxes) or have a spouse that contributed through their wages can receive this coverage. A person can choose to pay fees to obtain this coverage option. This portion of medical coverage often covers hospitalization, but few are still confused about what this coverage includes.
When a person receives Medicare coverage they learn it is split into different parts. Each part focuses on certain aspects of medical coverage. Part A provides limited hospitalization coverage. This includes basic services obtained when people experience a hospital stay such as room, board, food, and nursing. This coverage does not pay costs associated with doctor services or care provided by a doctor. Up to 90 days of inpatient care services are covered under Medicare Part A. This would include your standard hospital setting.
Other healthcare facilities depending on services provided may be covered under this health insurance option. Certain nursing facilities, pediatric hospital care, and specific forms of hospice care may qualify for coverage under this option. Hospice care may qualify when a patient has little time to live and this form of care is recommended by a certified physician. Home health care for roughly 3 months or 100 days may be covered.
Additional Information You Should Know About Medicare Part A
Services available under this plan are limited due to federal government regulations. It is important for those covered to review details of this plan on a regular basis in case any changes are implemented. For instance, services obtained through home health care or a nursing facility may only be covered for a certain time during a calendar year. This reason alone makes people criticize this portion of Medicare. If you need extended care in either type of facility you may need to purchase additional health coverage through another provider or plan.
If you stay in the hospital for a day or more it may not cover all services. There are certain services you may be required to pay a copayment. For example, you may be required to pay copay in any amount specified no matter how many days your hospital stay may require. Since this option can incur costs to the patient quickly in a matter of days, individuals who enroll for Part A end up getting Part B as well if they are eligible for both.
Medigap Is Another Option
Supplemental insurance is another option to use with Part A, but if you don’t have cash on hand to pay for copays or other expenses not covered in your insurance, you could burn through the money you have on hand quickly including retirement funds. For the most part, people with Part A can enjoy reduced costs and still be able to receive the care they need at little or no cost.