Find Out If You’re Eligible For Free Medicare Part A

By: Meredith Miller
Published: Wednesday, October 17 2018
Last Updated: 4 years ago

Original Medicare is made up of two different parts which are referred to as Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Part A is most recognized as hospital insurance, while Part B is most recognized as medical insurance. These can further be explained as the treatments that a patient receives inside of a hospital or other hospital-like facility (Part A), or any medicine or medical treatments (Part B).

You may have heard that Medicare Part A is actually free, and for some that may be the case. Let’s dive a bit deeper and find out who is eligible for free Medicare Part A, and how some hidden costs may end up costing you.

Who’s Eligible For Free Medicare Part A?

When most people hit their 65th birthday, they automatically become eligible for Medicare, although there are a few eligibility factors you want to read up on. While Medicare Part B is accompanied by a monthly premium, Part A is usually free.

A lesser known way to qualify for Medicare is if the person has a disability, or has what is called end-stage renal disease, otherwise known by the acronym ESRD. The person must also be a citizen of the United States or have been a permanent resident for a span of five years or more.

Free Isn’t Really Free

Though you may eligible for free Part A, there may still be some out-of-pocket expenses involved. These out-of-pocket expenses are all of the costs that you will have to pay because Medicare does not cover them. They include the following:

  • The dispensing fee of the pharmacy (if they have one)
  • Up to 15% of the limiting charge of the service
  • Any deductibles
  • Other monthly premiums and coinsurance involved

How To Avoid Part A Out-Of-Pocket Expenses

Though these out-of-pocket expenses may be common in a lot of situations, there are ways around them. One of these ways is to look into Medicare Advantage Plans to see what they can help with, on top of your free Medicare Part A. These types of plans deliver your Part A and B through an intermediary and can also help you financially by removing or lowering certain premiums down to $0.

Another creative way of avoiding out-of-pocket expenses is by using Medicare Supplement Plans. There are 10 of these available and each may help you cover both your Part A and B out-of-pocket expenses.

Who Has To Pay For Medicare Part A?

If you’ve worked throughout your life, which the majority of people have, then you’re probably eligible for free Medicare Part A. As long as you paid taxes for 40 or more quarters, which translates to 10 years (4 quarters in a year). However, if you didn’t meet that requirement, you won’t be eligible for free Medicare Part A, but don’t worry, you can still enroll.

Medicare Part A Premiums - 2019

According to federal tracking, about 99% of American seniors will not have to pay premiums for Medicare Part A. However, if you fall into the remaining 1%, here’s what you can expect to pay each month towards your Part A premiums.

  • Worked between 30-39 quarters - $232 per month
  • Worked under 30 quarters - $422 per month

It’s important to reiterate that even if you do qualify for free Medicare Part A, there are still other costs to take into consideration. For example, in 2019, your deductible for inpatient stay will be $1,364 ($24 increase from 2018), a $341 coinsurance for staying in the hospital between 61 and 90 days, and more. Make sure to protect yourself with supplemental coverage. If you don’t know where to start, FirstQuote Medicare makes it easy for you. Enter your zip code, and explore tons of Medicare Supplement quotes in your area.