Medicare Part A covers medical care provided in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, mental health hospitals, and home health care. Here’s a breakdown of Part A coverage and the costs for 2020.
Part A premium
Ninety-nine percent of Medicare beneficiaries will not pay a monthly Part A premium. You can earn “premium-free Part A” by paying Medicare taxes for about 10 years or 40 quarters of work credit.
For 2020, the premium for people who have between 30 and 39 work credits is $252 per month, and $458 per month for people with fewer than 30 work credits.
Part A deductible
The Part A deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay before Medicare starts covering your hospital bills.
The Part A deductible for 2020 is $1,409 (up from $1,364 in 2019), and applies to each benefit period rather than calendar year. A benefit period in Part A begins the day you’re admitted to the hospital and ends when you haven’t received any inpatient for 60 days in a row.
Part A coinsurance
If you are admitted to the hospital, you will pay the following coinsurances (or percentages of services) in addition to your deductible:
- Days 1 – 60: $0
- Days 61 – 90: $352 per day
- Days 91 – lifetime reserve days: $704 per day until you have used up your 60 lifetime reserve days (you get 60 lifetime reserve days over the course of your life)
- Beyond lifetime reserve days: all costs
The same coverage and costs apply to a mental health hospital, but you will have to pay an additional 20 percent for Medicare-approved services and treatments.
After a benefit period has ended, your benefits will start over. If you are readmitted to the hospital after going more than 60 days without receiving inpatient care, you will have to pay your deductible again, but you will also not owe any coinsurance for the first 60 days.
Part A home health care
Services for home health care have a $0 copay, but durable medical equipment will cost 20 percent coinsurance.
Part A skilled nursing facility
If you are admitted to a skilled nursing facility, the daily coinsurance rates are:
- Days 1 – 20: $0
- Days 21 – 100: $176 per day
- Days 101 and beyond: all costs
All coinsurance rates for skilled nursing facilities are subject to benefit periods.