With the coverage Medicare offers, you could have most of your medical expenses taken care of. We are going to show you the Medicare benefits you could be enjoying and how Medicare’s various plans will cover you. Then you can decide for yourself if one of these plans are going to be right for you.
The Parts of Medicare
There are four parts to Medicare- A, B, C and D. Part and A and B make up what is known as Original Medicare, and it’s the one plan you can only get from Medicare. Part C is called Medicare Advantage and is sold privately by other insurance companies. Part D covers prescription drug costs, and it can be purchased at a private insurance provider as well.
You can sign up for any of these parts of Medicare if you qualify for the basic plan, but they don’t all combine well together. In other words, you may have to pick and choose which plans you want to go with, as Medicare will not allow you to pay for any overlapping coverage. You can only buy a particular kind of coverage once, and there is no doubling allowed. That might seem obvious, but some of these plans won’t cover you entirely for the items they provide coverage for, and people sometimes have questions about whether they can buy the same plan twice to provide extra coverage, but that’s simply not possible.
Part A and Part B Benefits
Let’s look now at the parts that make up Original Medicare. These are Part A and Part B. While you can get them separately, if you like, they usually come together, and it’s usually best to buy them as a bundle in Original Medicare.
Part A takes care of a lot of inpatient expenses, such as your hospital stay, nursing care and hospice care. It’s meant to cover a lot those expenses for your stays in the hospital.
Part B is for shorter term care, and it covers many lab tests, x-rays, medical research, preventative medicine and even second opinions from other doctors. It can also cover ambulatory care and mental health costs for you.
Please note that these plans may not cover all these items in their entirety. The coverage they provide may run out if you go to the hospital a few times during the year. Some of the coverage renews every year, though, so pay attention to what is renewed and what isn’t when you start to look at Medicare plans.
Part C Benefits
Part C, or Medicare Advantage, takes all of Original Medicare coverage and adds to it. The basic coverage only adds emergency and urgently needed services, but many of the companies that sell this plan add on coverage for Medicare Part D as well as for checkups and prescription medical devices, such as eyewear and hearing aids.
Part C and how much it covers will vary from one insurance company to the next. They all have to stick to that basic plan and coverage, but they are also allowed to add onto it in a few different ways, giving you a lot of choices as to what kind of Part C plan you can get. This is the most powerful of all the Medicare benefits plans there are, so if you need a lot of coverage and you have a lot of medical expenses, then Part C is likely the best way to go for you.
Part D Benefits
The benefits for Part D are all prescription drug related. How much a Part D plan will cover for you depends on the plan and who is selling it. This is another medical plan that is sold by private companies, and they are given some leeway as to how they fill out the plan for their subscribers. You should compare Part D pans from one provider to the next until you find one that fits you well and covers what you need to have covered.
Part D covers prescription rugs in tiers. In other words, some drugs are covered completely by the plan, while others are covered only partially. Others still are not covered at all, and which drugs are covered all the way and which ones are only partially covered will vary from one plan to the next.
Part D can also be included in Part C, and if that’s the case, then you can’t sign up for both. If you signed up for a Past C plan that does not include Part D coverage, then you are welcome to buy Part D separately and add that coverage to what you already have.
Which Benefits Will Be Right for You?
In order to find the plan that fits you best, you will have to first examine your coverage needs. Look at what you are paying for out of your own pocket for healthcare and what your current medical insurance plan is covering for you. You may find that one of the Medicare plans offers better benefits, but you won’t know that until you compare what they are offering to what you already have.
Keep in mind that you may have different needs in a year or so, and you need to be ready to change your plan to something else when the time comes. You can only change your benefits when the plan you have signed up for expires- in other words, when the contract is done. Most people sign a one-year contract, and when yours is finished, then you have an opportunity to change to a different plan, if you like.
You should know about that the Medicare benefits are that are available to you. There are many different versions of these plans, and many of them have slightly different benefits. Comparing those differences in coverage and the different price points of the plans is going to be your key to saving money and ensuring that you are properly covered for your healthcare needs.