FAQ Friday: How to enroll in Medicare Part A and what it covers.

Enrolling in Medicare Part A depends on if you’re drawing your social security income. If you are drawing your social security income then you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A. If you are not drawing your social security income; you can register for Medicare Part A in 3 ways:

  1. Call the Social Security Office
  2. Go to their website
  3. Go to your local Social Security Office

Medicare Part A is your “room and board” or Hospital coverage because, for the most part, Medicare Part A is going to cover you while you’re in the hospital and it’s going to cover your room and board charges. If you are hospitalized and it’s an inpatient stay, you’re going to use your Medicare Part A benefit. Medicare Part A does not pay for all of your medical bills while you are in the hospital. Medicare Part A comes with a $1,340.00 deductible for 2018. You will have to pay the first $1,340.00. That will cover you for 60 days; after that you will have a per day charge while you’re in the hospital with Medicare Part A.

Medicare Part A will cover you while you’re in a skilled nursing facility. They will cover you for the first 20 days of your stay at no charge and starting day 21 through day 100 you’ll have a per day charge while you’re in a skilled nursing facility.

Medicare Part A also covers hospice care. If you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and you have been given 6 months or less to live, Medicare Part A will cover your hospice services whether you’re in a facility or at home.

Home healthcare and physical therapy are also covered under Medicare Part A. These are more short-term, intermediate care with Medicare Part A. If you are hospitalized for 3 days or more and you need home healthcare, physical therapy or any at-home assistance, Medicare Part A will cover you for up to 14 days.