There are two parts of Original Medicare, Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Each of them covers various healthcare services and expenses. Medicare Part A covers skilled nursing facility care, hospital care, hospice care, general nursing care, home healthcare services, and other services covered under Medicare Part A.
However, most people who are newly eligible for Medicare can have premium-free Part A, while others may have to pay over $200 per month for this Medicare coverage. People who have to pay monthly premiums for Part A did not pay enough Medicare taxes while still employed. However, most people qualify for a premium-free Part A. To have premium-free Part A, there are certain requirements you must meet.
To qualify for premium-free Part A, you must be 65 or older and must have paid enough Medicare taxes while you were employed. You will also qualify if you receive Social Security disability benefits or a retirement benefit from the Railroad Retirement Board. If you or your spouse have paid enough Medicare taxes and are eligible to receive Social Security income benefits or retirement benefits from the Railroad board, but you have not filed for the benefits, then you may qualify for Medicare Part A without needing to pay the monthly premium.
You or your spouse must have also paid Medicare taxes and worked for a specified amount of time (10 years) or quarters (40). To earn quarters of coverage, you must pay the required payroll taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act during the years when you were employed. Since most people pay the FICA tax in full, they have enough quarters of coverage to qualify for a premium-free Part A once they become eligible for Medicare.
If you have paid your Medicare taxes for at least ten years or if you have 40 quarters of coverage, then you qualify for a premium-free Part A. Enrollees who have up to thirty work quarters but not up to 40 will pay a reduced premium rate.