What Is Medicare?
Medicare is a government health insurance program designated for individuals who are 65 years of age and older. Medicare may also be used by younger individuals with certain disabilities and those who are diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. Although parts of this insurance plan are offered directly through the United States government, other types of Medicare coverage can be offered through your private health insurance carrier.
What Does Medicare Cover?
Basic Medicare includes Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). This insurance coverage will provide payment options for your basic medical care. If you want additional insurance coverage you may have to obtain Medicare supplemental plans through your private insurance carriers.
What Doesn’t Medicare Cover?
Some of the medical services that your basic Medicare coverage doesn’t cover includes the following:
- Long-term care
- Dental care
- Eye examinations
- Cosmetic surgery
- Hearing aids
- Foot care examinations
This is a general list of what Medicare doesn’t cover, but you should always check with your insurance plan to see if any of these are included.
What Medicare Options Can Your Private Health Insurance Provider Offer?
Private health insurance companies can provide additional Medicare offerings to accompany your government-based coverage. Three of the additional plans which your private insurer may cover include Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Plan D. The following provides a bit more about each additional Medicare plan:
- Medicare Advantage: Medicare Advantage is sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C and includes all of the basic Medicare offerings such as Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) plus Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan). This is the all-inclusive form of Medicare coverage which can be offered with the combined products of the government and private insurance companies approved by Medicare.
- Medicare Supplement: Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap, takes care of medical costs which Medicare coverage doesn’t handle. Some of these costs may include co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles. It may even cover additional costs such as medical care received when outside of the United States, but your individual insurance policy will note what is contained within the coverage limits.
- Medicare Part D: Medicare Part D is the prescription drug coverage plan which you can obtain to accompany your regular government-provided Medicare benefits. This prescription drug plan is offered by private health insurance companies and will work alongside your other Medicare offerings.
Who Needs Medicare?
Medicare is a wonderful option for individuals 65 years of age and older. It provides necessary health insurance coverage to have in place should one have to pay for a wide array of medical expenses. In addition, by having the added protection of private health insurance company coverage options of Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Part D, insured individuals can feel confident in knowing that their medical expenses will be paid when they need them to be.
Why Is Medicare So Important?
Medicare provides an affordable healthcare option to individuals over 65 years of age which can be used to obtain necessary medical treatments. With cost-efficient, expansive treatment options, those who have Medicare coverage can rest easy knowing that their medical bills will get paid.
How Does Medicare Work?
If you are a United States citizen or have been a permanent legal resident for at least five years and 65 years of age, you can start taking advantage of Medicare benefits. This is possible if you or your spouse have social security benefits or railroad retirement benefits or you or your spouse is a government employee/retiree who has paid Medicare taxes. If you meet this criteria, you can sign up for Medicare three months prior to your 65th birthday and engage in a seven-month introductory period. Once your Medicare benefits kick into motion you can take advantage of the insurance payment inclusions and any additional coverage provided by supplemental plans offered by your private health insurance provider.
Benefits of Medicare
Medicare is an excellent medical insurance coverage plan to utilize. It’s cost-efficient, reasonably inclusive and has the ability to have additional coverage added to it for the maximum insurance potential . With the general Medicare coverage, you have access to hospitalization insurance and general medical insurance. Plus, if you add on to the Medicare coverage and include prescription drug options, you have a multi-faceted insurance plan to cover your needs.
Is Medicare Necessary?
Medicare provides an affordable insurance coverage option to individuals who are 65 years of age and older and need an efficient way to cover the costs of their medical expenses. Whether you obtain the basic Medicare coverage, with Plan A and Plan B included, or opt for a more expansive Medicare plan with Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement or Medicare Plan D, you’ll find that the Medicare plan is a wonderful way to obtain insurance coverage and rest easy knowing that you’re covered should you need medical assistance.
What to Look for When Signing Up for Medicare
Before you try to take advantage of your Medicare benefits, you first need to ensure that you are able to qualify for benefits. Make sure that you meet the age requirements as well as the prior employment qualifications listed above. If so, you are ready to apply for Medicare benefits. Here are a few things to be on the lookout for when signing up for your Medicare benefits:
- What date will the Medicare benefits start taking effect?
- What will the Medicare benefits include?
- Will the Medicare cover prescription drug costs?
- How much will the co-pays be?
- How much will the deductibles be?
- Are there network medical professionals to consider?
- How much out-of-pocket costs will have to be paid?
When you thoroughly evaluate your Medicare coverage, you’ll find peace of mind in knowing how much coverage you’ll be receiving and how much additional insurance coverage you’ll need to obtain in order to be fully protected. Medicare coverage and additional Medicare options through private insurance companies will fully cover your medical needs and help you to rest easy in your medical insurance decisions.