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If you’ve been covered by employer-sponsored health insurance most of your life, you’re probably never had a reason to distinguish between the different parts of your coverage. Medicare, however, has separated hospital insurance (Part A) from medical insurance (Part B). Medicare Part A and B have differences in costs and coverage, but enrollment and eligibility are generally the same.
Medicare Part A and Part B have different premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts.
|Part A||Part B|
|Premiums||Most people get premium-free Part A. You generally qualify for premium-free Part A if you’re 65 and already get retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. You can also get premium-free Part A if you’re under 65 and got Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months.||Most people pay a premium for Medicare Part B. The standard Part B premium is $135.50 in 2019, or higher depending on your income.
|Deductibles||In 2019, the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,364 for each benefit period.||The Medicare Part B deductible is $185 a year in 2019.|
|Coinsurance||You pay a Part A coinsurance (a set dollar amount) for certain days in the hospital beyond day 60. This amount ranges from $341 to $682 per day in 2019.||You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for most doctor services under Medicare Part B. You generally won’t know the actual dollar amount until you receive a bill.|
Medicare Part A and Part B cover different things, and there is generally no overlap in coverage.
|Part A coverage||Part B coverage|
|· Your hospital room and hospital meals
· General nursing
· Prescription drugs received in the hospital
· Skilled nursing facility care
· Hospice care
· Home health care
|· Doctor visits both to primary care doctor and specialists
· Some vaccines, including the flu shot
· Mental health services
· Annual physical exam
· Durable medical equipment including wheelchairs and walkers
· Emergency ambulance transportation
· Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
· Some preventive exams, tests, and screenings
People 65 and older and people with disabilities, End Stage Renal Disease, or Lou Gehrig’s disease are generally eligible for Medicare. You also must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident for at least five continuous years. You become eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B at the same time.
You may be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B automatically if:
If you’re still working when you turn 65, you may not be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. You may choose to enroll in Medicare Part A if you can get it premium-free but delay Part B enrollment because you have to pay a premium for it.
Do have more questions about Medicare? Feel free to contact eHealth to speak with a licensed insurance agent. You can compare Medicare plans with the click of a button – just click Browse Plans on this page.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.