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En español | Medicare Part A helps pay for the costs of inpatient care in the hospital and short-term skilled nursing facilities — including a semiprivate room, bed, meals and nursing care. It also pays for some home health services and hospice care, at no charge to you if you meet the conditions for coverage.  

You don’t have to pay any premiums for Part A benefits, provided that you or your spouse has earned 40 credits through paying Medicare payroll taxes at work (the equivalent of about 10 years of work). If you don’t qualify for premium-free benefits, you can still get Part A coverage by paying monthly premiums for it. 

Part A benefits are fully covered in both the original Medicare program and in Medicare Advantage plans. But you pay for hospital care (deductibles and copays) in different ways, depending on which system you’re enrolled in, or, if you’re in the Medicare Advantage program, which plan you’re in. 

For more information on Part A coverage for stays in the hospital or a skilled nursing facility, see the AARP article “What Is a Medicare Hospital Benefit Period?” at 

For more information on Part A coverage of home health services, see the official publication “Medicare and Home Health Care” at  

For more information of Part A coverage of hospice care, see the official publication “Medicare Hospice Benefits”. 

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