A person must be 65 years of age and either drawing retirement from the Social Security administration or the Railroad Retirement Board to be eligible for Medicare Part A. In addition, a person must be a US citizen or a permanent resident with five continuous years of residency. In some instances a person may qualify for Medicare part A before the age of 65. For example if someone has a disability, end-stage renal disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease)..
While Medicare Part A covers a wide range of services, it certainly doesn’t cover everything. There are two ways to find out if Medicare Part A covers a specific service. The first is to talk to a doctor or primary healthcare provider. In some instances, items or services that are normally covered by Medicare Part A may not be. If a doctor believes that something may not be covered, a person may have to sign a written acknowledgment that they have to pay for the item or service. Coverage boils down to three major factors: federal and state laws, local decisions made by companies who provide services within a particular geographic region, and national decisions about coverage made by Medicare.
Medicare Part A covers hospital expenses which are critical to inpatient care. These include meals, rooms, medication, nursing services or any other services and supplies that a hospital provides. Coverage does not include private rooms (unless medically necessary), or personal items (e.g., shampoo, razors, telephone calls).
Most people who are eligible for Medicare Part A do not pay monthly premiums (based on the number of three-month quarters in which they made eligible tax contributions). However, Medicare eligible people who do not have sufficient number of paid quarters can buy into Part A with an adjusted premium (either $248 or $451).