The Finer Points of Medicare Part A
Because Americans are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A, they may not review the finer points of the plan. It is important, though, to know exactly what Medicare Part A covers, so you can find the Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan that best augments it.
But, What is Medicare Part A?
Medicare Part A is hospital insurance provided by Medicare. Most people do not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A because they or their spouses paid Medicare taxes while working. This is known as premium-free Part A.
Those who aren’t eligible for premium-free Part A may be able to buy Medicare Part A if they:
- Are 65 or older, enrolling in Medicare Part B, and meet the citizenship/residency requirements.
- Are under 65, disabled, and without premium-free Part A coverage because they returned to work. (Note: those who are under 65 and disabled can continue to get premium-free Part A for up to 8.5 years after returning to work.)
Private insurance companies, acting as agents for the federal government, handle claims processing and payment for Medicare Part A.