What is Medicare?
Medicare is health insurance offered by the Federal government to people who are 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of any age with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) – permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant) , who meet the eligibility requirements. Medicare helps pay for health care, but does not cover all medical expenses. The United States Medicare system is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Read these articles to determine your eligibility.
Medicare has four parts:
Medicare Part A
(Hospital Insurance) is the original Medicare coverage which helps pay for inpatient hospital care, and helps cover skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care.
Medicare Part B
(Medical Insurance) is for people who qualify for Medicare. It helps cover doctors’ services, outpatient care, and home health care, and helps cover some preventative services to maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse.
Medicare Part C
Also called Medicare Advantage Plans (like HMOs and PPOs), offer health coverage options as a replacement of your Medicare benefits run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare. It includes Part A, Part B, and usually other coverage like prescription drugs.
Medicare Part D
It is a prescription drug option run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare, that helps cover the cost of prescription drugs and may help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. You must be enrolled in Medicare before you can apply for Part D coverage.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Original Medicare Part A & Part B do a pretty good job providing medical coverage however there are deductibles and cost sharing percentages that you are responsible for paying out of your own pocket when you receive services. Medicare Supplement Plans are voluntary, additional coverage that helps fill those gaps and controls your out of pocket cost for Medicare approved services. These plans are offered by private insurance companies.
Many people get confused with the difference between Medicare Parts and Medicare Plans. With the many different options available it can be helpful to have someone by your side to guide you through out the many options.
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