Part A (Original Medicare)
What is it?
Medicare Part A, also known as Original Medicare, is the basic Medicare program for people age 65 and older. It helps to cover inpatient hospital service, hospice and home health care.
Part A lets you choose any doctor or other health care provider that accepts Medicare. It is free coverage if you or your spouse has paid into Social Security for at least ten years.
What are the details?
An enrollment packet will be sent to you about three months before your 65th birthday. Your Medicare card will be inside the packet, along with more about what you need to know about your benefits. Coverage starts the first day of the month you turn 65. If you don't get your packet, ask the Social Security Administration to send you one.
What else should I know?
- If you're a citizen or permanent resident of the United States age 65 or older, you can still enroll in Medicare Part A even if your full Social Security retirement age is not 65.
- If you're getting Social Security or Railroad Retiree benefits, you will be signed up for Medicare Part A without having to do anything.
- If you work past age 65 for a company with 20 or more full-time employees, you can use your company's plan as your main coverage.