Medicare is a federal health insurance program intended primarily for U.S. citizens aged 65 and older. If you are 65 or older, you usually don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A if you or another qualifying person, like your current or former spouse, paid Medicare taxes for ten years. If you don’t qualify for premium-free Part A, you might be able to buy it, and depending on how long you or your spouse worked, and paid Medicare taxes will depend on how much the Part A premium will cost. Enrolling in Part B is also a requirement to buy Part A. If you don’t buy Part A when you are first eligible for Medicare, usually when you turn 65, a penalty will also be assessed on top of the premium.
Medicare Part A beneficiaries receive coverage for hospital expenses that are critical for inpatient care. These include a semi-private room, nursing services, meals, the medications required during inpatient treatment, along with other related services and supplies from the hospital.
Medicare Part A insurance does not cover a private hospital room, private-duty nursing, or personal care item expenses such as shampoo, telephone, and television. It also does not cover the cost of blood unless the hospital receives blood from a blood bank without a charge. For hospitals purchasing the blood, the cost of the first three units is the beneficiary’s responsibility.
The Costs Associated With Part A:
Part A Also Has Critical Inpatient Care Provided Through:
Medicare Part A Initial Enrollment Period.
Medicare initial enrollment begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday and continues until three months after the month of your 65th birthday; seven months in total. Your Medicare enrollment is automatic if you currently receive Social Security benefits or qualify for Medicare insurance because of a disability before age 65. If you do not receive Social Security benefits or qualify for disability, then you will need to enroll in Medicare unless you are still working and have a qualified employer or union, group health insurance plan. If this is the case, you will need to find out from your employer whether the group health insurance plan will continue as the primary insurance after you turn 65. If Medicare becomes the primary insurance rather than the group health insurance plan, then you will still need to sign up for Medicare. If the group health insurance plan continues as the primary insurance, you can delay enrollment into Medicare without incurring a late enrollment penalty. However, it would be best if you still enrolled in Medicare Part A, which may help pay some of the costs not covered by your group health plan.
If you don’t have access to a qualified group health insurance plan or if the group plan becomes secondary to Medicare, then it is imperative to sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period by calling the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or online at SSA.gov. Do this as early as possible, so your coverage begins on the first of the month of your 65th birthday. Medicare benefits will start on the first day of the month during the month of your 65th birthday as long as you enrolled during one of the three months prior to your 65th birthday. If you wait until the month of your 65th birthday or one of the three months following your 65th birthday, your effective date can be delayed up to six months.
If your Medicare Part A enrollment is not automatic, and you do not have access to a qualified group health insurance plan, and if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part A during Medicare’s Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), you will be subject to a 10% penalty for every 12 months you delay your enrollment. The Medicare Part A penalty remains in place for twice the number of years you didn’t sign up.
Initial Enrollment Period Has A Seven-Month Enrollment Timeline.
This Time Frame Includes:
Ways To Enroll In Medicare Part A: