Part A: Hospital Insurance
What Is Part A?
Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, home health care, and non-medical religious health care institutions1.
Who Is Eligible?
As long as you are 65 years old and live in one of the 50 states (including Washington, D.C.), you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (and Part B). You are eligible at age 65 if2:
- You receive or are eligible to receive Social Security benefits; or
- You receive or are eligible to receive Railroad Retirement Board benefits; or
- Your spouse is eligible; or
- You or your spouse (living or deceased, including divorced spouses) worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid; or
- You are the dependent parent of a fully insured deceased child.
If you do not meet these requirements, you may be able to get Medicare hospital insurance by paying a monthly premium. Usually, you can sign up for this hospital insurance only during designated enrollment periods. To find out more about the enrollment periods of Medicare, please refer to the following pages:
To receive an estimate of your eligibility and enrollment date, please use the Eligibility Tool by Medicare.gov.
What Does Part A Cost?
Most people aren’t required to pay a premium for Part A since they paid Medicare taxes during the years they worked. This situation is referred to as “premium-free Part A.”
If you aren’t eligible for premium-free Part A, you may be able to buy Part A if you meet one of these conditions1:
- You’re 65 or older, you’re entitled to (or enrolling in) Part B, and you meet the citizenship or residency requirements.
- You’re under 65, disabled, and your premium-free Part A coverage ended because you returned to work (If you’re under 65 and disabled, you can continue to get premium-free Part A for up to 8.5 years after you return to work.).