| Thu, May 28, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Does Medicare Part A Cost Anything?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Medicare Part A costs will vary person-to-person, but for most people, Medicare Part A is premium-free. It still has a deductible, which you pay per benefit period, and it also requires copays for covered services in the hospital, a skilled nursing facility or for hospice.

The costs for Medicare Part A can change each year. Below are the Part A costs as of January 1, 2020, and if you want to also learn more about Part B costs for 2020, read this blog.

Will You Pay the Medicare Part A Premium?

Most people don’t pay the Medicare Part A premium. You do not pay for Part A if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. If you or your spouse did not, then you will have a Part A premium to pay each month. As of 2020, the Part A premium can cost up to $458 per month.

 Medicare Part A 2020 Deductible and Copays

Medicare Part A has a deductible that is charged per benefit period. For 2020, this deductible amount is $1,408.

  • A benefit period starts on the day when you enter a hospital or skilled nursing facility for care and ends when you have been out for 60 consecutive days. During this time, you may be in the hospital more than once.
  • There is no limit to how many benefit periods you can have. Medicare will cover all of them.
  • Each benefit period charges the $1,408 Part A deductible.

Medicare Part A also has copays for when you’re in the hospital, in a skilled nursing facility or in hospice. The copays and rules work differently for each.

Hospital Copays for Medicare Part A

Hospital copays are determined by the number of days you’re in the hospital, and when you exceed 90 days, you begin to use your lifetime reserve days. These are a set number of covered hospital days you can use if you’re in the hospital for more than 90 days in a single benefit period. You have 60 lifetime reserve days, and once you use them, they’re gone.

Number of Days in Hospital Part A Copay
Days 1-60 $0
Days 61-90 $352 per day
Days 91 and beyond $704 per day up to 60 lifetime reserve days

Medicare Part A Copays for a Skilled Nursing Facility

For a skilled nursing facility, Medicare Part A charges copays per benefit period – similar to the Part A deductible—and by the number of days you spend in the facility receiving care. Below is a breakdown of the 2020 copay amounts for skilled nursing facility care.

Number of Days in Skilled Nursing Facility Part A Copay
Days 1-20 $0
Days 21-100 $176 per day
Days 101 and beyond You pay all costs

Hospice Copays for Medicare Part A

For hospice care, Part A copays exist for medications for pain and symptom management, durable medical equipment used in the home and for respite care. The costs for each for 2020 are below:

Hospice Service or Item Part A Copay
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

In conclusion, your Medicare Part A total costs will vary based on your work and tax history and your overall health care needs throughout the year.

For more information about Medicare, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.

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