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What Is Medicare and How Does It Help You?

Update Date: Aug 11, 2021 04:46 PM EDT
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What Is Medicare and How Does It Help You?
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Medicare is a health insurance program offered by the federal government to specific groups of people. Medicare covers a variety of things, including tests, services, and items. It offers the same level of coverage to eligible people no matter where they live. Those who qualify for the program include:

  • People aged 65 or older

  • Those with End-Stage Renal Disease

  • Younger people with disabilities

How Does It Work?

Medicare is a type of health insurance offered by the federal government. It covers the costs of healthcare and is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 

It works like Social Security in the sense that it is an entitlement program. Most citizens of the United States get the right to enroll in Medicare if they have worked and paid taxes for a specified period. Even when you don't meet the eligibility requirements, you may still be able to enroll. However, you may need to pay higher premiums. 

The program has four main parts-Part A, B, C, and D. Part A and Part B are also known as Original Medicare. Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. It is private insurance. Medicare Part D gives you coverage on prescription drugs. 

Medicare Plan Options

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)

This plan allows you to enjoy your Original Medicare coverage through a private insurance company. However, the insurance provider you choose must be Medicare-approved. With Medicare Advantage, you don't need to get your health insurance directly from the federal government. 

 Medicare Advantage allows you to access all the benefits of Medicare Part A and B except for hospice care. However, you may enjoy lots of extra benefits, including routine vision and dental services. You may also enjoy coverage on prescription drugs. In addition to the premium payments of Medicare Advantage plans, you'll also need to pay for Medicare Part B. 

Original Medicare

Most people who are eligible for Medicare will automatically qualify for Original Medicare, Part A, and B. However, others need to enroll for it manually. While Medical Part A covers hospital insurance, Part B covers medical insurance. 

When using Original Medicare, it is important to note that prescription drugs may not be covered. Consider getting Medicare Part D through private providers to enjoy coverage on prescription drugs. Consider getting a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. 

 If you plan on staying with Original Medicare, you may also get a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan. It will help cover your out-of-pocket expenses. There are different plans to suit different needs. Different Medicare-approved insurance companies have different plans. 

Reasons to Have Medicare

1.      You Can Get Extra Help

With Medicare, you can get additional help if you need it. The government understands that many senior adults rely on Medicare completely. Therefore, they have created programs making it possible for those with limited income to access it.  

Some federal and state programs can help you pay Part B premiums and deductibles, coinsurance amounts, and copayments. Even with 

Part D prescription drug programs, there are income-based assistance programs to reduce the cost of medication. 

2.      The Premiums Are Low

The premiums for Medicare are lower than for private health plans. Almost everyone can qualify for premium-free Part A. Therefore, you only need to pay for your Part B of the Original Medicare coverage. In addition, the premiums for Medicare don't rise as fast as with private health insurance. 

 It is no surprise that Medicare has become such a popular form of health insurance. The eligibility requirements are simple, and the premium payments are fair. There are different plans to suit the needs of different people. 

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