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
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 are covered under Medicare Part A. This includes: