Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers healthcare expenses of people who are 65 or older. Almost every person in the US is eligible for the program, as long as he/she has worked and paid the taxes for the minimum period as required by the program. If you haven’t worked for the limited period as suggested, you can still choose to opt for Medicare by paying more. Here are some of the other things you need to know.
Facts to know
The Original Medicare program has two parts – Part A and Part B. While Part A covers your inpatient care at healthcare facilities and hospice care, Part B covers the outpatient healthcare expenses, such as doctor’s fees and diagnostic costs. Right after you have enrolled for Medicare, you have to understand if you need additional coverage. Beneficiaries need to check the inclusions of the Original Medicare coverage, based on which they can take a call on Medicare Advantage plan, also known as Part C. There are two things to know here – Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement. Let’s talk about each in detail.
The basics of Medicare Advantage
Also known as Medicare Part C, the Medicare Advantage plan is offered by private insurance companies. These insurance providers offer all the benefits of Part A and B, except for hospice care, which is offered by Part A. You can get additional benefits with certain plans, so take some time to understand the options. Even with Part C, you will still have to pay for Part B monthly premiums, and people who have conditions like ESRD (“end-stage renal disease”) may not be eligible for Medicare advantage.
The basics of Medicare Supplement
Medicare Supplement is also known by its second name – Medigap. Offered by private insurance providers, it covers some of the costs and expenses of healthcare that are not covered by Original Medicare, such as copayments and premiums. There are standardized plans for 47 states, while three others – Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin have unique options. Plans are named alphabetically from A to N, and the same letter plan offers the same benefits in all states. Also, the costs can differ. For example, Medicare supplement plan g cost with one insurance provider can be dissimilar than that of other. You will find a lot of information online in this regard.
Check your Original Medicare plan to know if you need supplement and advantage plans.