Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A Coverage & Costs

Most people do not pay a premium for Part A (Hospital Insurance). This is also known as “premium-free Part A.
People who buy Part A will pay a premium of either $259 or $471 each month in 2021 depending on how long
they or their spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes. If you choose NOT to buy Part A, you can still buy Part B.

Part A Hospital Inpatient Deductible and Coinsurance:

You pay (2021):

  • $1,484 deductible for each benefit period
  • Days 1-60: $0 coinsurance for each benefit period
  • Days 61-90: $371 coinsurance per day of each benefit period
  • Days 91 and beyond: $742 coinsurance per each “lifetime reserve day” after day 90 for each benefit period (up to 60 days over your lifetime)
  • Beyond lifetime reserve days: all costs


Part A Skilled Nursing Facility Care:

You pay (2021):

  • Days 1-20: $0 for each benefit period
  • Days 21-100: $185.50 coinsurance per day of each benefit period
  • Days 101 and beyond: all costs


Part A Home Health Services:

Medicare Part A covers eligible home health services such as intermittent skilled nursing care, physical, speech, and occupations therapy.


Part A Hospice:

You pay (2021):

  • $0 for hospice care
  • May have copay of not more than $5 for each prescription and other similar products for pain relief
  • May pay 5% of the Medicare-approved amount for respite care


Lifetime reserve days

In Original Medicare, these are additional days that Medicare will pay for when you’re in a hospital for more than 90 days. You have a total of 60 reserve days that can be used during your lifetime. For each lifetime reserve day, Medicare pays all covered costs except for a daily coinsurance.  

Benefit period

The way that Original Medicare measures your use of hospital and skilled nursing facility (SNF) services. A benefit period begins the day you’re admitted as an inpatient in a hospital or SNF. The benefit period ends when you haven’t received any inpatient hospital care (or skilled care in a SNF) for 60 days in a row. If you go into a hospital or a SNF after one benefit period has ended, a new benefit period begins. You must pay the inpatient hospital deductible for each benefit period. There’s no limit to the number of benefit periods.