Medicare is the health insurance plan that the United States of America provides for people 65 years of age and older. However, if you have received a diagnosis of permanent kidney failure or are disabled, you may qualify for Medicare as well.
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A is the hospital insurance portion of your Original Medicare coverage. Medicare Part A will cover your stay in a hospital if your physician writes an order that states that it is necessary for you to be hospitalized for treatment of an illness or an injury. The second requirement is that the hospital must accept Medicare.
The services you will receive with Medicare Part A coverage include a semi-private room, meals, general nursing care, medications, and services and supplies related to the treatment of your medical condition. Other than hospitals, the facilities that will accept Medicare Part A coverage include long-term care hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, critical access hospitals, and acute care hospitals.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B is also included in Original Medicare, and it is your medical insurance coverage. This portion covers the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. It also pays for services that prevent illnesses.
Medicare Part B covers some prescription drugs, inpatient and outpatient mental health services, durable medical equipment, ambulance services and clinical research.
Enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B
If you are receiving Social Security, you don’t need to enroll in Medicare. If you do need to sign up for Medicare, your initial enrollment period begins three months before the month in which you will turn 65. It ends three months after the month in which you turned 65. The best option is to enroll during the first three months so that you will have medical coverage on the day that you turn 65.
If you fail to sign up for Medicare within the initial enrollment period, you will be required to enroll during the general enrollment period. The general enrollment period runs from January 1 to March 31 each year, but this wouldn’t be advantageous to you because you may be subject to a permanent penalty.
Medicare Supplemental Coverage
Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B do not cover 100% of the costs of your medical care. Original Medicare pays 80% of your costs, but the remaining 20% is left for you to pay. In addition to that, there isn’t a cap on the out-of-pocket expenses you would be responsible for covering. Fortunately, you can purchase a Medicare supplemental plan that is known as a “Medigap” plan.
If you are 65 or will be turning 65, you can purchase a Medigap plan during the open enrollment period. Purchasing the plan at this time is the best option for you because insurance companies are not allowed to perform underwriting. This means that your acceptance into the Medigap plan of your choice will be guaranteed, and the insurer will not be able to charge you an additional amount for a pre-existing condition.
Some of the expenses that Medigap plans can cover include your coinsurances for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, the deductible for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B excess charges, three pints of blood for each year and Skilled Nursing Facilities. You may even be able to find a Medigap plan that covers the medical expenses incurred in a foreign country or your Medicare Part B deductible.
Medicare Part C
You may choose Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage rather than Original Medicare. The government is the administrator of Original Medicare, but you will purchase Medicare Part C from a private insurance company. Some Medicare Part C plans could provide you with grocery benefits https://clearmatchmedicare.com/blog/medicare/what-is-the-medicare-grocery-benefit that you would not receive from Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B . However, Original Medicare does not offer you prescription drug coverage without purchasing an additional policy. Medicare Part C does provide you with prescription drug coverage in most cases.
Original Medicare also does not offer you benefits for vision and dental visits, but you will be able to purchase a Medicare Part C plan that does offer you these services.
If you would like to sign up for Medicare Part C, you must first sign up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. In addition to that, your permanent home must be located within the service area of the Part C plan you would like to join. If you have end-stage renal disease, you are now eligible to obtain a Medicare Part C plan, and you may sign up for Medicare Part C during the initial enrollment period.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is the prescription drug plan, but you must purchase it from a private insurance company. If you have Original Medicare, you may purchase a prescription drug plan on its own. By purchasing Medicare Part C, your insurance company will integrate your prescription drug coverage with your hospital insurance and your health insurance.
If you have Original Medicare, it is important that you sign up for the Medicare Part D program. This is the case even if you are not currently taking any prescription drugs. Failing to sign up for a prescription drug plan will subject you to a late enrollment fee later, and you will be required to pay this fee for the entire time that you have Medicare Part D.
If you need to apply for Medicare today, you can apply online. After you have done this, you will receive a Medicare welcome package in the mail that will contain your Medicare card and literature that explains how Medicare Part A and Part B work. You will also learn how you can obtain any additional coverage that you might need.