While Medicare is widely available, and most seniors are eligible for it, a lot of people still wonder: “What is Medicare?” If you haven’t taken the time to consider this medical insurance service and you are a senior or approaching age 65, then you should find out what it is all about. It may be able to benefit you very soon and save you tons of money on healthcare costs.
What Medicare Offers
This medical insurance service is provided by the US government’s Medicare branch. They regulate and design the plans and even sell many of the basic plans. The coverage plans that Medicare offers are split into four distinct groups.
Part A covers hospital costs, such as your hospital stay, laboratory tests, surgery, blood usage, hospice care, nursing facility care and more.
Part B will cover you for a lot of your doctor’s office costs and outpatient care. Ambulance transport and other services that don’t involve a lengthy stay at the hospital are covered under this part of Medicare.
Part C Combines parts A and B, and it adds more coverage in top of that. It covers you for emergency medical treatment and urgently needed healthcare services as its own separate plan. It can sometimes include Part D coverage and other coverage items as well.
Part D covers you for prescription drugs, and it can attach onto other Medicare plans. You will not be able to sign up for this plan if you already have prescription drug coverage through another plan.
These are the basics of what Medicare is going to cover for you, but if you have end stage renal disease or some other serious medical condition, you may qualify for additional coverage.
How to Sign Up for Medicare
You can get Medicare’s basic plan, known as Original Medicare, through Medicare itself. This includes parts A and B, and it covers a lot of your basic medical expenses. This is plenty of insurance for the average person, but some people need a lot more to be able to afford their medical care.
If you need something other than Original Medicare, then you probably have to go outside of Medicare to get it. Medicare allows insurance companies to sell its other plans, such as Part C, Part D and supplemental plans that add coverage onto the base plan. These insurance companies must abide by Medicare rules for coverage, so you usually know what you are getting when you sign up for one of their plans. They can’t alter the coverage or design their own Medicare plans, so you have some guarantees as to what will be covered and what won’t be by specific plans that you can buy outside of Medicare.
To enroll in Medicare CLICK HERE
Once you hit age 65, you should be able to sign up for the plan of your choice. If you are wondering what is Medicare and how you can become eligible for it, then that’s pretty much all there is to it. The minimum requirements for Medicare eligibility are very simple and easy to achieve, and most people who are 65 are already eligible for this plan.
You will usually need to sign up during Open Enrollment, however, if you want to be sure you are going to be approved for coverage. If you try to sign up outside the window of time known as Open Enrollment, then you may be denied the coverage plan you are asking for. Open Enrollment comes around once a year and lasts for a couple of months, so be sure to check when the next one is so that you can sign up, if you are ready.
The Cost of Medicare
How much you pay for Medicare encourage depends on which plan you choose. Prices can vary from one state to the next and from one insurance company to the next. Medicare itself will usually have a set price for plans, and that only change since in a while. If you are buying Original Medicare, then it should be pretty much the same cost anywhere you buy it.
The plans you buy from private insurance companies, on the other hand, can vary in price dramatically. Medicare usually does not dictate what the prices should be for the premiums you pay each month for these plans.
You may also have to pay deductibles and copayments on the plan. Part B has a $183 deductible, for example, but you can have that covered if you choose the appropriate supplemental plan.
You may not be able to sign up for a Medicare plan, if you already have coverage with another service. If there is any overlap between the two plans, then Medicare won’t allow you to continue to keep both plans. You’ll have to drop one of them, since you are not allowed to pay for the same coverage twice. This rule is for your own protection and to ensure that you are not overpaying for coverage.
You cannot stack coverage in such a way that you get the same coverage twice. You can sign up for multiple plans, however, if they do not overlap. For example, you could sign up for Original Medicare (parts A and B), Part C (or Advantage coverage) and Part D (prescription drug coverage), if none of them have overlapping coverage. That would give you nearly comprehensive medical insurance and make certain that you have very little to pay out of pocket. But just make sure that you need all the coverage that you are signing up for.
Hopefully, those who were not sure what is Medicare will have their answers now. If you think that Medicare may be right for you, then be sure to talk to an insurance agent about your options and choose the best plan to meet your financial and medical needs. There is likely a plan out there that will suit you very well. You simply have to look through your choices and pick the right one.