Medicare Part A coverage is hospital insurance. It’s one part of what’s often called Original Medicare, which is administered by the federal government. Medicare Part B (medical insurance) is the other part.

Medicare Part A helps pay for care you receive when you are admitted as an inpatient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Costs may not be covered by Part A if you are in the hospital for observation.

What Does Medicare Part A Cover?

Medicare Part A covers the hospital charges and most of the services you receive when you’re in the hospital. But it doesn’t cover the fees charged by doctors who participate in your care while you’re in the hospital. Medicare Part B helps pay those costs. The list below shows examples of what Part A covers.

What does Medicare Part A Cover?

Guide to Original Medicare (Part A & Part B)

Find out more about Original Medicare. What’s the difference between Part A and Part B? What’s covered and what’s not? Do you have to pay a premium?

What Does Medicare Part A Cost?

Medicare Part A shares some costs with you if you need to be hospitalized. The table below shows the different costs that may apply. Costs are shown for 2018. 

You do not have to pay a premium for Part A if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.

Premium
For most people  $0
If applicable  Up to $437 per month
 Deductible
 Per benefit period $1,364
Co-payment

Hospital

Days 1-60 $0
Days 61-90 $341 per day
Days 91 and beyond $682 per day up to 60 lifetime reserve days

Skilled Nursing Facility (per benefit period)

Days 1-20 $0
Days 21-100 Up to $170.50 per day
Days 101 and beyond You pay all costs

Hospice

Medications for pain and symptom management Up to $5 per prescription
Durable medical equipment used at home 20% of the cost
Respite care 5% of the Medicare-approved amount


How Medicare Part A Cost Sharing Works

Medicare Part A pays most of the hospital costs for stays up to 60 days. But if you have a very long stay, you could be responsible for a large share of the cost.

These stories may help you understand how Part A cost sharing might work in different situations.

Julie

Meet Julie

Julie was admitted to the hospital for a minor issue and stayed there just a few days.

Learn more about Julie...
Roger

Meet Roger

Roger was in the hospital twice within a couple of months.

Learn more about Roger...
Margaret

Meet Margaret

Margaret has had two separate hospitalizations, one for a few days and then months later she was admitted again for a longer stay.

Learn more about Margaret...
Juan

Meet Juan

Juan is very sick and ends up staying in the hospital for a very long time.

Learn more about Juan...