Medicare 101 - Understanding Medicare
Medicare is a national United States health insurance program for people 65 and older. It is also for people with certain disabilities or end-stage kidney failure. This program is divided into various parts, and it’s important to learn how these fit together.
The 4 Parts of Medicare?
Part A - HOSPITAL INSURANCE
Hospital insurance can assists you with the cost of inpatient care and skilled nursing facility stays. It also helps with things like hospice and home health care. In general, you should think of the inpatient hospital benefit as coverage for room and board in the hospital.
Part B - MEDICAL INSURANCE
We like to call Part B Doctor Visit Coverage, because it is your outpatient medical coverage. Part B covers essentially all of your other coverage outside of your inpatient hospital fees. Without Part B, you would be uninsured for doctor’s visits (including doctors who treat you in the hospital). You would also not have coverage for lab work, preventive services, and surgeries.
Part C - MEDICARE ADVANTAGE
Is private insurance. Medicare Advantage plans are offered through Medicare-approved private insurance companies who manage and administer your health insurance coverage. The cost of Medicare Advantage plans varies by carrier, county of residence, and the plan selected.
Before you enroll in Part C, you must first be enrolled in Part A and Part B. Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional coverage like vision, hearing, and dental; and may also include Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Part D - PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE
Like Part C, Part D is run by Medicare-approved, private insurance companies. It helps cover the cost of prescription drugs, and may help lower prescription drug costs and protect against future price increases.
Medicare vs Medicaid
A common question I often here is “What is difference between Medicare & Medicaid?” Medicare is a health insurance program for the elderly. Medicaid, is financial and/or healthcare assistance for low-income individuals. Some people 65 and older can qualify for both. In this case, Medicare would pay first and Medicaid would pay second.
These are the Basics - Get Help Understand Your Medicare Options
Do you need help understanding your rights, options and entitlements of Medicare? It's OK. The first step to setting up affordable health insurance is knowledge, and you just made the first STEP.
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