Medicare plays a major role in the senior communty’s peace of mind surrounding concerns about paying for healthcare costs. Operating as a federal program, Medicare is designed primarily to provide certain basic healthcare services to people 65 years and older. It is paid for in part by the Medicare taxes paid by employees via income deductions. Medicare premiums and the federal budget also kick in funds to pay costs associated with funding this program that is a life-saver for many Americans. While Medicare is a wonderful basic service that seniors can rely on, it is not considered to be enough for most people. Many seniors find that they want to buy supplemental insurance to cover certain costs that are not paid by Medicare options.
Who Qualifies for Medicare
As people approach the age of 65, it is time to start researching Medicare options. Groups who qualify for this coverage are people who are 65, anyone with disabilities and people suffering from the last stages of renal disease.
There is an eligibility tool that can be accessed at Medicare.gov. that can help with the details. Any person who has worked for a minimum of 10 years, paying into Medicare during that time qualifies for Part A Medicare at no cost. Typically, if you qualify for Social Security benefits, then you also qualify for Medicare Part A without having to pay premiums.
Even in cases where people have not paid Medicare taxes, they may still be eligible for benefits if they pay a premium when they reach the age of 65. American citizens and people who are classified as permanent residents can buy Medicare, paying for Part A. Anyone who wants Part B must pay for it.
Medicare Insurance Plans
There are several plans and many factors to consider when it is time to sign up for Medicare. There is Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans, and Medigap supplemental insurance that all make up the Medicare landscape.
Medicare Part A is essentially hospital insurance covering inpatient care in hospitals and nursing facilities. Hospice care is another service provided under Medicare Part A. Additionally, some home care is also covered.
Medicare Part B covers many doctor's services. It also covers outpatient care and preventive services. Specifically, ambulance trips, mental health treatment, clinical research, some drugs related to outpatient care, and medical equipment are paid for with this plan.
Medicare Part D is the prescription drug coverage and is often purchased with Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Many Medicare Advantage Plans are bundles that include Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D.
Medigap supplemental insurance is a popular choice for many seniors since it is used to cover copayments and deductibles that can add up to a sizeable amount of money. These policies are assigned the letters from A to N.
How to Make Medicare Less Confusing
It is easy to see why so many people worry so much about making the right decision. While it is impossible to be sure what might happen in the future, there are certain things that can be done to ensure that you are well covered based on different scenarios.
One recommended way to be sure about Medicare coverage is to ask your doctor or healthcare professional whether a particular type of cost is covered. In cases where a service is needed and your provider does not believe it is covered, they will have you sign a document saying that you are prepared to pay for it yourself.
Part of the reason Medicare is so complicated is that coverage is determined by both federal and state laws. Federal laws determine what will be covered while states decide if a procedure is medically necessary on a case by case basis. Anyone who is confused about their coverage can always call 1-800-633-4227 to ask questions. There are also helpful phone numbers on your insurance cards.