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Medicare Part A Eligibility

Medicare Part A is one part of Original Medicare.

Part A provides benefits for inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, inpatient skilled nursing facility care, hospice care and home health care.

You are eligible for Medicare Part A if you:

✓ are age 65 or older.

✓ are disabled, and are receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months.

✓ have end-stage renal disease.

✓ have Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).

Part A Costs

Typically, there’s no premium associated with Part A when turning 65 if any of the below criteria applies to you.

Medicare Part A will be premium-free if, at age 65, you:

✓ are a legal resident of the United States for 5 consecutive years and worked and paid FICA taxes for at least 10 years of 40 quarters.

✓ are the spouse of an individual that meets these criteria.

✓ have End-stage Renal Disease.

✓ have Lou Gehrig’s disease/ALS.

✓ are disabled and are receiving social security disability benefits.

If you are not eligible for premium-free Part A, you can still purchase Part A coverage, but you will be required to pay a premium. The good news is that this premium can be reduced if you have work credits from having  paid taxes while you were employed. 

Read more about costs associated to Part A on our Medicare Costs page.

Part A Enrollment

When can you sign up for part A?

You can sign up for Part A when you become eligible, which is the age of 65.  You have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) to sign up.  Read more about Part A enrollment on our Medicare Enrollment page.

Already receiving Social Security or Railroad Benefits?

Medicare eligible seniors will be automatically enrolled in Parts A starting their 65th birth month if they are already receiving social security benefits or the Railroad Retirement Board (BRB).  These recipients will receive their Medicare card approximately three months before their 65th birth month. 

Close to age 65 but not electing to receive Social Security?

You can apply for Medicare Part A three months before your 65th birthday. Read more about Part A enrollment on our Medicare Enrollment page.

What Does Part A Not Cover?

Part A coverage will pay for a large amount of your health expenses, but not all of it. 

The following will be out-of-pocket costs that you are responsible for, unless you purchase a Medigap policy to offset these expenses:

Part A Does Not Cover

✓Long-term nursing care (over 100 days)

✓Physical exams other than your annual wellness visit

✓Routine foot care

✓Acupuncture, naturopathy

✓Cosmetic surgery

✓ Hearing aids

✓ Dentures and denture care

✓ Medicare care outside of the United States