Change can be stressful, nerve-wracking, and exciting. If you are nearing the age of 65, odds are you’ve started to think about your healthcare coverage choices once you hit that milestone birthday.
With the abundance of options and information out there regarding Medicare, it can be confusing to know where to begin. What does Medicare cover? What about prescriptions? Do you need any coverage in addition to Medicare?
Keep reading below to see our guide to Medicare to learn everything you need to know before making your choice.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a Federal health insurance plan that is available to certain individuals. Don’t confuse this with Medicaid, which is a different healthcare coverage option that has income restrictions.
Medicare is available to individuals who are 65 or older, some people with specific disabilities, as well as those with End-Stage Renal Disease. You can see if you qualify by clicking here.
Your Guide to Medicare
Once you’ve established that you are in fact eligible to receive Medicare, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and check out your options.
Parts of Medicare
Medicare is broken down into parts A, B, and D.
Medicare Part A is your hospital coverage. This takes care of hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and sometimes home health. Most people don’t have to pay anything for Part A coverage.
Medicare Part B is your coverage for medical. This part covers doctor’s visits, outpatient care, preventive services, and medical supplies. Medicare Part B does have a monthly premium. Medicare COVID 19 payment is covered under this part.
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. Part D is optional but recommended. If you do not sign up as soon as you are eligible you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty down the road.
Medicare Coverage Choices
There are two main ways to get your coverage. You can stick with “original Medicare” which is Part A and Part B or go with a Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Part C.
If you choose original Medicare, you will still need to decide on Part D coverage and also if you want to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan to pay for the costs that Medicare does not cover. Depending on your income, you may also qualify for Medicaid which picks up where Medicare leaves off.
Medicare Advantage Plans are all-in-one, bundled plans that include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D as well. Advantage plans typically have added benefits like dental and vision, and sometimes fun extras like gym discounts and more. Many Advantage plans require you to stay in a network of specific doctors though.
Making Your Final Decision
Hopefully, this guide to Medicare has demystified the options available to you. It is always best to speak with a licensed insurance agent to help you decide what coverages are best suited for your needs.
Remember, you’ll always have Part A and Part B. You will need to determine if it’s best to stick with original Medicare and possibly pick up a Medicare Supplement plan as well as Part D, or if a Medicare Advantage Plan is the best choice for you.
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