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Medicare health and drug insurance programs are benefits that many Americans can't do without. Medicare is broken down into several ‘Parts' that cover distinctly different parts of the healthcare spectrum. For most people, when they turn age 65, Medicare Part A benefits will automatically kick in.
Medicare Part A eligibility requires the participant to be age 65 and an American citizen. In some cases, those under 65 with certain disabilities and proper work credit will also be eligible for benefits. Usually about six months prior to the eligible participants 65th birthday they will receive enrollment cards or Medicare forms from the Social Security Administration.
Medicare Part A benefits are commonly referred to as hospital insurance. The major benefits covered under this plan are critical care in hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation, long term care, and mental health facilities. Other benefits include short term care in a skilled nursing facility, terminal care delivered through a Medicare approved Hospice provider and home health care services.
For those over 65 Medicare Part A is usually free for those who have paid Medicare taxes. In some cases Medicare Part A benefits will require a monthly premium. Enrollees may contact the Social Security Administration to inquire about Medicare forms for paid premium Part A.
For inpatient hospital care, donated blood products are covered. If the hospital purchases blood for you, Medicare Part A benefits requires you to be responsible for the cost of the first three units of blood in a calendar year.
Hospital stays are covered for a semi private room including doctor's care, nursing care and drugs, but private nurses and services such as TV or phone are not covered as well as personal items such as socks, razors and toothbrushes unless medically necessary.