What is Medicare?

Updated: Oct 26, 2021



Are you looking into health care options, and you're not sure of where to turn? Choosing healthcare can be overwhelming and challenging, and our professional Medicare insurance agents are here to provide support and resources to make the process easier for you and your loved ones. Over time, it's important to take steps to ensure that you have the coverage that you need for your health and care. One of the primary options people look for more information on is Medicare. Medicare is known as being complex if you're not familiar with it. It's helpful to learn more about how Medicare can offer you health coverage and how to enroll. Below, we break down the definition of Medicare, and the different coverage options.


What is Medicare?


Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people in the U.S. who are 65 and older, and it covers some younger people with disabilities. Medicare is a different program than Medicaid, which offers health and other services to eligible low-income people of all ages. Medicare is similar to the health insurance your company may have provided during your employment. There is an enrollment period during certain times of the year, so it's important to make sure you take note of those dates so you can enroll. There are multiple different coverages options you can choose from, and an expert can help break down the different options.


What are the different parts of Medicare?


Medicare Part A


Medicare Part A is your hospital insurance, including inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care options. The premium cost for Part A can be waived if you or your spouse worked for at least ten years and paid Medicare taxes. If you or your spouse worked for less than ten years, the premium could be as much as $407/month. Part A does not cover the costs of treatments you receive while in the hospital. That falls under Part B.


Medicare Part B


This part of Medicare covers all of your preventive treatment that includes doctor visits, tests, and other services. How much you make/made ultimately determines how much your premium will be. You must meet a deductible of $185 each year in Part B for this coverage. After you pay it, you are responsible for your coinsurance, which is 20% of your medical costs.


Medicare Part C


Also known as Medicare Advantage PlansMedicare Part C is a form of private insurance that is voluntary. Medicare oversees this plan and typically covers Part A thru Part D, which means your out-of-pocket cost could only be for Part B. To qualify for Medicare Advantage, you need to have A and B. All Medicare Advantage plans must provide the same coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B, but other benefits vary from plan to plan.


Medicare Part D


Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. People who enroll in Part D Medicare pay a monthly premium. It covers the prescription drugs you buy at your local or mail-order pharmacy. It subsidizes the cost of prescription drugs and any associated prescription drug insurance premiums. There is an added cost to your monthly premium that can average around $30/ month, depending on your income. Each year you must satisfy your annual deductible determined by your income that will not exceed $415 as of 2019. Just like Part B, after you have met your yearly deductible, a co-pay or coinsurance will take over.

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