Are you new to Medicare and not sure where to start? If you need help understanding the basics of Medicare and what it all entails, here are four things you'll need to know before committing to any health care plan. As complicated as it all may sound, once you make yourself familiar with all the parts of Medicare, deciding what is best for you and your healthcare needs can be a piece of cake! Let's start!
When being faced with the transition into Medicare, the choices can seem overwhelming. Different types of Medicare plans help pay for such things as inpatient hospital care, outpatient services, doctors visits, prescription drugs, home health, the list goes on and on depending on what health plan you choose. Have no fear!
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A is most commonly referred to as hospital insurance. Part A will cover semi-private rooms, meals, general nursing, drugs as part of your inpatient treatment in addition to hospital services and supplies. Part A covers up to 150 days total hospitalization for a lifetime and up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility. Part A does NOT cover any surgery or treatment received while inpatient. Please see Part B for more information.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B coverage is the second and last part of what is referred to as Original Medicare. The rules of eligibility for Part B are simpler than those of Part A. If you are 65 and older, and a US citizen OR are a permanent resident who has been here lawfully for five consecutive years you are eligible to enroll in Part B medical insurance. This is true whether or not you are eligible for Part A coverage. There is a premium for Part B, and the standard premium amount is $135.50 (but the premium may be higher depending on your income).
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C, often referred to as Medicare Advantage Plans (MA plans), are plans that are offered by private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare. So, if you join a Medicare Advantage plan, you will still have Medicare, however, you will get your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage from the Medicare Advantage plan and not from Original Medicare. MA plans must provide all of the same coverage that Original Medicare does, but it may also offer some added coverage such as vision, dental, hearing and prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Part D
To get prescription drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare. You don’t have to have both parts of Medicare (Part A and B) to be eligible for Part D. You can have Part A or Part B and still enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug plan, known as a PDP.
We hope this information has helped you better understand the Medicare and the enrollment process!