Medicare Part A in Virginia
Medicare Part A in Virginia is often called Medicare’s “hospital insurance” policy. However, Medicare Plan A provides complex coverage that goes beyond basic hospital-related services. Medicare Part A plans encompass a wide range of services, including skilled nursing facility care and home health care services. Medicare Plan A also covers hospice, or end-of-life services provided at home or in a hospice facility. Review the sections below to learn more about how to get Medicare Part A coverage in VA, Medicare Part A cost expectations and what services the plan will cover.
How and When to Get Medicare Hospital Insurance in Virginia
Virginia Medicare Part A plans are available to applicants who meet certain qualifications set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). To qualify for Medicare A, applicants must fall into one of the following categories:
- 65 years of age or older.
- Younger than 65 years of age and have been receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for at least 24 months
- Have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD, or permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant)
Medicare Part A applicants must meet U.S. citizenship or legal residency requirements as detailed by the CMS. VA Medicare Plan A enrollment is only open for certain application periods and late enrollment can result in fines.
Methods for Enrollment in Part A Medicare
Medicare Part A enrollment can happen through one of several methods. Apply online for Medicare Plan A by filling out Virginia’s application for Medicare benefits. If you prefer to obtain your Medicare Part A coverage in person, make an appointment to apply at your local Social Security office. Applications for Medicare Part A plans in VA are also accepted over the phone. For more in-depth information to help you apply for Medicare Part A hospital insurance or other Medicare plans, download our complete guide to Medicare benefits in Virginia today.
Costs of Medicare Part A in Virginia
Your Medicare Part A cost will be paid through several different ways. Medicare Part A, like other health insurance plans, uses premiums, deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance to help balance health care costs. Because Virginia Medicare Plan A costs will vary between plans, you should always refer to your plan’s handbook or website to obtain the most current coverage and cost information. It is also important to review these details before deciding whether you want to obtain your Medicare Part A insurance by applying for Original Medicare or by choosing a Medicare Plan C Medicare Advantage Program that provides all the services included with Part A and Part B Medicare.
Medicare Part A premiums can be free or you may pay up to several hundred dollars per month to participate, depending on whether you or your spouse earned enough work credits by paying Medicare taxes through your employer. Most people who work full-time throughout adulthood and pay Medicare taxes will find that they qualify for premium-free VA Medicare Plan A coverage by the time they reach age 65. Whether your Medicare Part A plan is premium-free or not, you must meet the annual deductible set by the CMS, which changes on a yearly basis. A deductible is an amount of money that you must pay before Medicare Plan A begins paying their share of your medical costs. A portion of your Medicare Part A cost will be paid in co-payments, also called co-pays. These Medicare Plan A payments will vary according to the type of coverage you have, the type of facility providing your care and the length of your hospital or skilled nursing facility stay. Virginia Medicare Part A co-payments can range from nothing to several hundred dollars. Medicare Part A co-insurance refers to the remaining percentage you must pay when Medicare only pays a certain percentage toward your treatment. These Medicare Part A costs are also influenced by the length of your hospital stay and the type of facility providing your care.
Services Covered by Medicare Part A in Virginia
Medicare Part A sounds like it only provides hospital services, but most hospital admissions will issue bills for services to both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Medicare Part A plans include coverage for certain services received through inpatient hospital care, long-term hospital care, or in skilled nursing care facilities. Your Medicare Part A cost in VA also covers hospice care, home health services and some types of nursing home care. Medicare Part A services include general nursing care, meals, medications administered while hospitalized, a semi-private room, and equipment necessary for hospital treatment. Medicare Part A hospice care can include doctor and nurse services, equipment, social services and end-of-life counseling. Home health services included in Medicare Part A help to cover the cost of rehabilitative therapies, such as occupational, speech/language or physical therapy. Although nursing home care is listed as a Medicare Part A benefit, it only applies to certain types of care that a doctor prescribes as a medical necessity. Virginia Medicare Part A covers a great deal more services than those listed above. For a complete list of Medicare Part A plan coverage, download our comprehensive guide today.