What is Medicare?
Medicare is the government-sponsored health insurance program for residents who are 65 or older.
However, Medicare can also cover younger people who are disabled or have end-stage kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant.
What Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare has multiple parts that can make it very confusing.
- Home health care
- Doctor's visits
- Medical treatments
- Skilled nursing care
- Ambulance services
What is Medicare Part A?
Medicare Part A provides hospitalization, skilled nursing services, hospice, home health care, and short nursing home visits.
However, Medicare does not cover Long Term Care or custodial care for people with chronic or debilitating illnesses or injuries. Part A only covers conditions that your doctor expects to resolve within 60 days.
What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B covers your doctor's services, durable medical equipment, outpatient medical treatments, ambulance services, and preventative services.
What is Medicare Part C?
While Medicare Parts A and B make up "Original Medicare," Part C is a unique plan called Medicare Advantage. When we refer to Medicare Advantage, we are also referring to Medicare Part C. The terms are interchangeable.
Medicare Parts A and B are run by the Federal Government. You sign up for them through the Social Security Administration.
Medicare Advantage is private insurance, approved by Medicare, which includes both Part A and Part B, and sometimes Part D. In addition, only Medicare Advantage plans are allowed to offer extra benefits. dental, vision and hearing services are not permitted under Original Medicare or Medicare supplements. But Medicare Advantage can include additional coverage.
What is Medicare Part D?
You will sign up for a Part D plan separately from Parts A and B. Neither Medicare Part A nor Part B includes prescription drug coverage.
If you do not enroll in a Medicare Part D plan, you will pay for all prescription drugs out-of-pocket.
How Much Does Medicare Cost?
Most people pay $0 for Medicare Part A if they work enough before retirement. If you did not work enough before enrolling in Medicare, you may pay $252 or $458 per month for Part A.
Medicare Part B has a monthly premium. Most people pay $144.60 each month, but high-income people might pay as much as $491.60 monthly.
Medicare Part C requires that you be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. There may be a modest monthly premium for the Medicare Advantage plan. Still, some programs are $0 per month.
Medicare Part D also has a monthly premium, which varies depending on where you live.
Out-of-pocket costs can vary depending on whether you sign up for a Medicare Supplement program or not.
Medicare Supplements also have a monthly premium.
What is a Medicare Supplement/Medigap policy?
Private insurance companies offer extra coverage to supplement Original Medicare for an additional monthly fee. These plans are Medicare-approved to increase your coverage.
They help fill the coverage gaps and limit your out-of-pocket expenses. It's important that your Medicare Supplement put an annual cap on out-of-pocket costs. If you don't have a Medicare supplement, you will pay the Original Medicare 20% coinsurance infinitely because it has no maximum out-of-pocket amounts.
Also, some supplement plans add more benefits than Original Medicare offers.
What is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage is administered by a private insurance company.
To qualify for Medicare Advantage, you must sign up for Original Medicare Part A and Part B.
Essentially, it replaces Original Medicare Parts A and Part B, and sometimes, Part D, into a single policy. Instead of managing multiple plans with multiple ID cards, it is all bundled into one program.
Also, some people pay less for Medicare Advantage than Original Medicare. Some plans offer a $0 per month premium.
How Do I Enroll in Medicare?
You can enroll in Medicare in the three months before your 65th birthday and the three months after your 65th birthday.
You can wait to enroll if an employer plan currently covers you. Once you leave work and no longer covered by your employer, you will join in Medicare.
If you become eligible but wait to enroll without having other coverage, you will pay a lifelong penalty on top of the premium each month.
Where Can I Buy Medicare Plans?
AARDY is the nation's fastest Medicare insurance marketplace. You can compare Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage plans to find the one that best fits your needs.