What Does Medicare Cover?

WebMD Medical Reference

This is a general guide to what Medicare covers. To find out about specific things that Medicare covers, visit the Publications page at www.medicare.gov. Download "Your Medicare Benefits." You can also get a printed booklet by calling (800) MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

Medicare Part A

Most people don't have to pay a fee or premium for Medicare Part A. This is because they or a spouse paid Medicare taxes when they were working. To get Part A free, you or a spouse must have worked for at least 40 "quarters." A quarter means one quarter of a year.

You will not get Part A free if

  • You or your spouse worked less than 40 quarters of Medicaid-covered employment
  • You are disabled and under 65 and lost disability benefits because you were working

If you have to pay for Part A coverage, the fee in 2005 is $393 per month. If you or a spouse worked between 30 to 39 quarters, the cost is reduced to $206 per month.

Hospital Stays

Hospital stays are covered under Medicare Part A. This includes:

  • A semi-private room
  • Meals
  • Nursing
  • Hospital services and supplies
  • Inpatient mental health care (lifetime limit of 190 days)
What You Pay
Days in Hospital You Pay
1-60 Up to $952
61-90 $228 per day
91-150 $456 per day
151 + All costs

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