Part A of Medicare

Part A of Medicare covers your inpatient care when you have been admitted to a hospital skilled nursing facility and inpatient nursing home for care that is not long-term or for the care you receive in a Medicare-certified Hospice facility. Think of this as your room and board in the hospital. It’s going to pay them on it’s going to pay for: 

  • Semi-private room 
  • Three meals a day
  • Doctors and nurses who will provide medical care.
  • Blood transfusions, if necessary, during your stay.

A physician must first admit you to the inpatient facility. That first night you spend in the hospital begins what is called a part of a benefit. A benefit. It starts on the day that you are admitted to the hospital and ends 60 days after you have been discharged from the hospital. 

You will owe the part a deductible for each benefit that you spend in the hospital. The deductible is set by Medicare, and in 2023 is $1600, but it generally goes up a little each year. The good news is that you will only owe part of the expenses if your hospital stay goes beyond day 60. do 61, you start paying a hefty daily hospital copay, and on day 90, that hospital copay doubles s you then begin your 60 lifetime reserve days, and if you use all of those, your benefits will run out on day 150 after which you would owe all costs. Fortunately, this is rare.

Medigap Plans are available to cover these costs and give you an additional 365 days in the hospital beyond day 150. Details on those plans, however, are covered in other blog posts and on our website. Also, it will pay for any medications you need for your inpatient stay. It does not cover outpatient medications unrelated to the stay, so if you take medications and have a planned inpatient stay, you will want to bring your medications from home to take while you’re in the hospital.

Part A pays for skilled nursing facility care if you have had a qualifying three-night hospital stay and your doctor believes you need additional care after discharge. Skilled nursing care might be for something like wound care after surgery or speech therapy after a stroke part a pays 100% of the cost of your first twenty days in a skilled nursing facility. After that, when your skilled nursing benefit runs out, you will pay a daily copay for days 21 through 100.

The care you receive in a skilled nursing facility must be short-term and designed to help you regain good health so you can resume independently caring for yourself. It is not designed for long-term care, and Medicare does not pay for long-term care stays in an assisted living facility or nursing home. You would pay for that privately unless you’ve previously purchased long-term care insurance to help you with those costs in the mental health realm; part covers up to 190 days per lifetime of inpatient mental health care.

Be aware that all parts of Medicare, including part a, will require some cost sharing from you. You will pay deductibles, copays, and coinsurance as you use your part benefits unless you have purchased a Medicare supplement to pay them for. You can learn more about your share of the costs associated with Medicare in our other blog post.