Most U.S. citizens have the right to enroll in Medicare after working a certain number of years and paying taxes. For those who don’t meet the above criteria, there are still ways to obtain coverage.
The Medicare insurance program consists of four different parts, Part A, B, C, and D. Both Parts A and B are commonly referred to as Original Medicare and provide a basic level of coverage for health care expenses. Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is the portion of the program that allows for private health insurance. Lastly, Medicare Part D is the portion of Medicare that helps with covering the costs of prescription drugs.
At times, it can be challenging to understand all of the benefits of the Medicare program. One way to familiarize yourself with the plan is to look at all of the different parts that make up the insurance.
As part of Original Medicare, Medicare Part A is the portion of the plan that involves hospital insurance. For example, Part A will cover some costs associated with limited home health care services, inpatient hospital care, hospice care, and limited stays in a skilled nursing care facility. You will still be responsible for paying the remaining balance after Medicare benefits have been applied. One good thing to mention is that most beneficiaries won’t have to pay a monthly premium for the coverage as long as they have worked at least ten years.
Medicare Part B makes up the other half of Original Medicare and provides medical insurance to beneficiaries. Part B offers benefits that cover non-hospital medical expenses such as blood tests, outpatient hospital care, doctor’s office visits, X-rays, and diabetic screenings. While you will have to pay a monthly premium, Medicare will pay the full cost of most services and lab tests that are requested by your primary doctor.
Medicare Part C insurance, Medicare Advantage, often provides beneficiaries with one health plan that includes every type of Medicare coverage. For those who are thinking about obtaining this type of coverage, you will need to go through a private insurance company. It is important to note to have Medicare Part C, you will also need to have Original Medicare. One of the major benefits to Part C is that it typically provides additional benefits including dental, vision, and hearing.
The final component of Medicare is Medicare Part D. Part D is the plan that covers prescription drugs and is also available to anyone who wants to use it as a stand-alone prescription drug plan. You will still have to pay either a deductible, copayment, or a percentage of the drug cost each time you use Medicare coverage.