If you have Medicare, you have Part A coverage. Part A is often called hospital insurance because it helps Medicare beneficiaries pay for hospital stays. Part A also covers services like hospice care and skilled nursing and home health services that you need after in inpatient hospital stay.
Even with all this coverage for your care, you’ll still be responsible for some costs. On this page, we help you understand how much Medicare Part A may cost at age 65 by diving into two of the major expenses: premiums and deductibles.
Part A premiums
Most people don’t have to pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage. This is because federal law gives you Part A coverage premium-free as long as you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. A good rule of thumb is when you turn age 65, you’ll get premium-free Part A if you also get Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits from the government.
If you didn’t pay Medicare taxes, you may have to pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage. The amount you’ll pay depends on when you become eligible for Medicare and how much in Medicare taxes you paid—measured by yearly quarters of payment—during your lifetime.
Here’s a breakdown of the Part A premium for those who have to pay it.
|Part A premium|
|Number of quarters paid in Medicare taxes||Standard premium in 2017|
|40 or more quarters||$0|
|30 to 39 quarters||$227|
|Less than 30 quarters||$413|
If you choose to enroll in Part B, you’ll pay a separate premium for Part B coverage.
Part A deductibles
Whether you have premium-free Part A or not, you’ll need to pay certain costs for the care you need. One of these costs, the Part A yearly deductible, is the amount you must pay for Part A-covered services each year.
In 2017, the Part A deductible is $1,316. The deductible applies to inpatient hospital stays and must be met before the Part A coinsurance starts. We explain coinsurance in the next section.
Other Part A costs
There’s more to Part A than just premiums and deductibles. Once you meet your deductible, Medicare starts paying for your care, but you may still be responsible for a portion of your health expenses. “Cost sharing” is a term that means you pay a part of the cost while your health coverage pays another portion. With Part A, cost sharing comes in the form of coinsurance, and the exact amount you pay for the coinsurance depends on the type of care you receive.
|Part A coinsurance|
|Type of care||2017 Part A coinsurance (what you pay)|
|Inpatient hospital stay—Days 0 through 60||$0|
|Inpatient hospital stay—Days 61 through 90||$329 per day|
|Inpatient hospital stay—Days after 90 (up to a maximum of 60 days per lifetime)||$658 per day|
|Skilled nursing facility||$164.50 per day|
If you choose to replace your Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage with a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have to pay different costs than those listed above. You’ll also have additional expenses if you purchase a Part D Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Supplement plan (or both).
Looking for more information?
If you’d like to learn about Medicare premiums, deductibles, and other costs for different health plans, visit the pages below.