What is Medicare Part A?

Going to the hospital can be a scary proposition, particularly when it isn’t for some form of elective procedure. The last thing we need, at this point, is anymore surprises and knowing the ins and outs of Medicare Part A coverage, might prevent further complications.

Medicare Part A provides coverages for in-patient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, hospice care for terminally ill patients, certain home health services and blood if needed.

Medicare Hospital and Skill Nursing Facility Coverage

Hospital and skilled nursing facility stays are based on semi-private rooms and while medicare does pay for meals and necessary care items, it does not pay for extras like TVs and telephones. Skilled nursing care must follow a minimum 3 day stay in a hospital, be certified by the doctor, be related to the hospital stay and require the skills of a trained nurse.

Medicare Hospice and Home Health Service Coverage

Hospice care requires doctor certification that the patient has no more than six months to live. Care is usually provided in the home but short stays at an approved care facility are permitted. Home heath care services are available for people who are home bound and need therapy, such as physical, speech or occupational. Home health care services may include durable equipment and medical supplies.

Medicare Blood Coverage

If the hospital charges for the blood, the patient is responsible for the first three pints. Some blood banks may not charge for their blood and/or friends may donate blood to avoid a charge.

Medicare Part A Costs

Typically, there is no premium for coverage under medicare part A, but medicare part A is not full coverage. There will be deductibles, copayments and coverage limits, so it is important to know these in advance.

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