What is Medicare? – Overview
Medicare is a Government-backed Health Insurance Program that pays almost the total amount for hospital stays and other expenses for your health-related issues.
This program covers a range of treatments and services that you have to pay to the Hospitals and the doctors. Every citizen should enroll in any of the available Medicare programs as soon as they become eligible for it.
The federal department has recently revised the services offered under this health insurance program that we have discussed in this article.
Figuring out when to enroll in this program is a bit difficult task as this program has different categories which you must understand before you enroll. Let’s dive into the details!
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a US Federal Program designed for individuals 65 years or above age. Younger adults too can avail themselves of the same program if they are disabled or facing other health-related issues.
Medicare is different from other programs i.e. Medicaid. A lot of people get confused between these two Government-backed health programs. Today, we will give information about the Medicare program which is there for adults 65 and above age.
Different Parts of Medicare
Medicare has four different parts which are there for different types of seniors with different problems. Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Part C, and Medicare Part D- these are the four different types of Medicare programs.
These Medicare plans support additional supplement insurance plans which the users can utilize for other expenses.
Who is Eligible for Medicare Insurance Program?
- Under specific conditions, you can enroll in this program for receiving medical treatments.
- Any US Citizen or with Citizenship Status can enroll in this program.
- The program is open for the Citizens with Health and Disability programs.
- Citizens with 65 years or above age can also enroll in this program.
How Does Medicare Health Insurance Work?
The basic Medicare Program is called the Original Medicare. You can sign up for this original medicare program at a nearby Social Security Office. Or you can even visit their online page from where you can sign up and enroll yourself for this program.
If you are comfortable with the online process, we would recommend you to use it. It is way more convenient than visiting a Social Security office physically.
The original Medicare has two different types of facilities which you can avail i.e. the Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Let’s understand more about these plans.
Medicare Part A
The Medicare Part A under the Original Medicare Program covers the following listed services. You won’t be charged if you use the below-listed services for your health-related problems and their treatments.
- Inpatient Visits to Hospitals
- Home Healthcare
- Special Nursing Care
- Hospice Care
These are the institutional care which you can avail under this part of Medicare i.e. Medicare Part A.
In general, most employers pay for the Medicare Part A premiums on behalf of their employees as a tax.
Each of their employees is covered with this basic Medicare plan. The premiums are directly paid by the Employers in terms of Tax to the Government.
Medicare Part A will ask you to pay for additional services from your pocket as it is the basic plan only. This part of Medicare does not cover full expenses, you have to pay a part of the treatment and services utilized by you from your pocket.
The deductible for Part A Medicare was $1,408. You have to pay this deductible for every benefit that you receive from the hospitals.
Starting from the first day to 60 days of your discharge, this Medicare covers your expenses.
Medicare Part B
This part of Medicare covers most outpatient medical services. The services included in this Medicare Part is listed below:
- All types of Diagnosis testings including labs, MRIs, X-Rays, etc.
- Therapy Visits
- Doctors Visits
- Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments
You can enroll for this part of Medicare through the Monthly Premium option. Just like Part A, Medicare Part B does not cover full 100% of expenses. You will have to spend some for additional treatments and services from your pocket.
Prescription drugs suggested by your Doctor will not be covered under this part. This means when you have to buy prescribed medicines, you will have to pay for the same as it is not covered under this program.
You have to pay the set deductible every time you visit the hospital as this program doesn’t cover a full year’s medical expenses.
What are the other options available?
Apart from the Original Medicare Program, many people want additional benefits as they fear spending high amounts on medical expenses. Unlike Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, the same program provides two other options i.e. Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D.
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C is also known as the Medicare Advantage plan. This plan can be utilized as an alternative to the Original Medicare plan. You won’t be able to receive the benefits of Part A and Part B as soon as you enroll with Medicare Part C.
Unlike Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B which are covered by the Federal Department, Medicare Part C i.e. the Medicare Advantage plan is provided by the private companies.
You can enroll yourself from privacy insurers to Medicare Part C.
The reason why most people enroll themselves in Medicare Plan C is it covers additional expenses, unlike Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part C also provides transportation and fitness-related expenses and many other services that are not included in the Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plan provides a fixed amount for out-of-the-pocket expenses during the hospitalization and for other health-related expenses.
This part of Medicare covers other expenses and provides general health services at discounted rates.
To enroll for the Medicare Advantage plan, you have to be enrolled with Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Even after enrolling in Medicare Part C, you have to keep on paying the premiums for Medicare Part B. There are no age restrictions to avail this part.
Medicare Part D
The Medicare Part D is also known as Prescription Drug Plan. This is the most recent part added by the Federal Authority to improve the health infrastructure.
This part was added in the year 2016. Just like Medicare Part C, Medicare Part D is provided by third parties i.e. private insurers.
Medicare Part D covers your prescribed drugs. The annual deductible of Medicare Part D was $435 in 2020.
You will be asked to pay a copayment for the prescribed drugs, the rest will be paid under this Part of the Medicare Program.
There is a limit to spending on the prescribed drugs every year. You will be made understood by the insurers from which you are going to enroll for this part.
You will have to be enrolled with Part A or Part B to enroll in this program. As per the resources, every American should enroll in this program as soon as they become eligible.
Medicare Advantage plan covers drugs expenses and other benefits. You will be guided about the same while enrolling in this program.
As noted above, besides all these parts including the Original Medicare Program, there is an additional plan called the Medicare Supplement Insurance program.
Let’s collect some more information about this program.
What is Medicare Supplement Insurance Program?
Just like the Medicare Advantage plan, the Medicare Supplement Insurance Program is issued by private insurers.
These insurers work alongside the government’s program and will pay a sum from the expenses. This plan is there to cover up the gaps that you made and hence you need not put a hole in your pocket.
As per your requirements, you can avail of the desired plan from the provider. You will have to pay extra for additional comprehensive coverage apart from the existing plans.
Citizens can visit any clinic across the country as soon as they enrolled for this Medicare Supplement Insurance Program and a standard Medicare Advantage program.
This plan also doesn’t cover expenses against prescribed drugs.
If you are enrolled with Part A or Part B, you can enroll for this part. Depending on the stage in which you live, the plan and premiums may vary.
You have to get all the details from the insurer before you enroll yourself in the Medicare Program.
What is Medicare? Take Away!
For any queries regarding the Medicare Program and its benefits, you may visit their official website.
You can get all the details from their official website and can even sign up yourself to enroll if you are eligible. You can also contact to Social Security Office or can apply for the same online through their official portal.