What Is Medicare?
Medicare is a health insurance program for people age 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).
Medicare has two parts: Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).
You can choose to enroll in both parts, just Part A, just Part B, or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).
Most people who are 65 or older qualify for premium-free Part A. If you buy Part A, you’ll pay up to $458 per month for Part B. If you get Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or Office of Personnel Management benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B.
You should sign up for Medicare three months before your 65th birthday. If you have ESRD or are under age 65 with certain disabilities, you should contact the Social Security Administration for more information.
How To Qualify For Medicare
You may qualify for Medicare if you are 65 years of age or older, or if you are under 65 years of age and have a disability.
You may also qualify if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
If you qualify for Medicare, you will be enrolled in one of the following programs: Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or both.
Part A covers hospital insurance, while Part B covers medical insurance. If you are enrolled in both programs, you will be responsible for paying a monthly premium for Part B coverage. If you only enroll in Part A, you will not be responsible for any premiums.
However, you may be responsible for paying copayments and deductibles.
What Are The Different Parts Of Medicare
There are four different parts to Medicare. Part A is for hospital care, Part B is for medical care, Part C is for Medicare Advantage Plans, and Part D is for prescription drugs.
Each part of Medicare has its own specific benefits and coverage. For example, Part A may cover hospital stays, while Part B may cover doctor’s visits.
Part C plans are private insurance plans that must offer the same benefits as Parts A and B, but they may also offer additional benefits such as dental or vision coverage.
Part D plans are stand-alone prescription drug plans that help cover the cost of prescription drugs.
There are many different Medicare plans available, so it’s important to compare the different options to find the best one for your needs.
How Much Does Medicare Cost?
The cost of Medicare will depend on a number of factors, including the type of coverage you choose and the state in which you live.
In general, Medicare plans can be divided into two categories:
Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
Original Medicare is composed of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), and it is available to all eligible seniors. Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, are offered by private companies and must be purchased in addition to Original Medicare.
These plans typically include prescription drug coverage, and they may also offer additional benefits, such as dental or vision care. The cost of Original Medicare is paid through a combination of monthly premiums, deductibles, and copayments.
The cost of Medicare Advantage plans will vary depending on the type of plan you choose and the state in which you live. However, all beneficiaries must pay a monthly premium for Part B coverage.
In addition, some beneficiaries may also be responsible for paying a Part A deductible, as well as copayments for services covered by Part B.
The cost of prescription drugs covered by Medicare Part D will vary depending on the type of plan you choose and the drugs you take. However, all plans have an annual deductible that must be met before coverage begins.
In addition, you will likely be responsible for copayments or coinsurance for each prescription drug you purchase.
You can learn more about the cost of Medicare by speaking with a benefits counselor or visiting the website of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
When Can I Enroll In Medicare?
You become eligible for Medicare when you turn 65. If you are already receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance).
If you are not receiving benefits, you will need to manually enroll in Medicare by contacting the Social Security Administration.
You can sign up for Part A and Part B during the seven-month period that begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65.
If you wait to enroll in Medicare during this initial enrollment period, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
You can also enroll in Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug coverage during this initial enrollment period.
For more information about enrolling in Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov or contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Who To Contact For Questions About Medicare?
If you’re like most people, you probably have lots of questions about Medicare. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help you get the answers you need. The first place to start is the Medicare website itself.
There, you’ll find a wealth of information about all aspects of the program, including coverage options, costs, and eligibility requirements.
If you still have questions after exploring the website, you can contact the Medicare helpline at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions. You can also visit your local Social Security office for help with Medicare questions.
Staff members there can provide information about enrolling in the program and can answer any other questions you might have. With a little effort, you should be able to find all the answers to your Medicare questions.
Covering all the bases when it comes to your health insurance can be tricky- especially with Medicare. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what Medicare is, who is eligible, and what kind of coverage you can expect from signing up.
If you still have questions about enrolling or whether or not Medicare is the right decision for you, don’t hesitate to give our office a call.
One of our qualified representatives would be happy to help guide you through the process and answer any lingering questions.