Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage to Americans aged 65 and older, as well as to those with certain disabilities and chronic conditions. It was established in 1965 as part of the Social Security Act, and today, it covers over 60 million Americans.
In this blog, we will explore how Medicare works, including what it covers, how to enroll, and how to use your benefits.
What does Medicare cover?
Medicare is divided into several parts, each covering different types of medical services. Here is an overview of what is covered in each part:
Part A: Hospital insurance
Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and some home health care. If you or a loved one is admitted to a hospital, Part A will cover the cost of your stay, including room and board, as well as any medically necessary treatments and services.
Part B: Medical insurance
Part B covers medically necessary services and supplies, including doctor visits, outpatient care, preventive services, and some home health care. Part B also covers certain medical equipment, such as walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen equipment.
Part C: Medicare Advantage
Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is an alternative to original Medicare that is offered by private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans provide all the benefits of Parts A and B, as well as additional benefits like dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage.
Part D: Prescription drug coverage
Part D covers the cost of prescription drugs. Like Part C, Part D is offered by private insurance companies, and you must enroll in a Part D plan separately from your original Medicare.
How do I enroll in Medicare?
If you are approaching age 65 or have a qualifying disability, you may be eligible for Medicare. Here is how to enroll:
If you already receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Parts A and B when you turn 65. You will receive your Medicare card in the mail three months before your 65th birthday.
Enrollment during your initial enrollment period (IEP)
If you are not already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you must enroll in Medicare during your IEP. Your IEP is a seven-month period that starts three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after the month of your 65th birthday.
Special enrollment periods
If you miss your IEP, you may still be able to enroll in Medicare during a special enrollment period (SEP). SEPs are available to those who have lost other health coverage, moved out of their plan's service area, or experienced other qualifying life events.
How do I use my Medicare benefits?
Once you are enrolled in Medicare, you can start using your benefits to access healthcare. Here are some tips for using your benefits effectively:
Choose your providers carefully
Not all healthcare providers accept Medicare, so it's important to choose your providers carefully. You can use Medicare's online tool, Physician Compare, to find providers in your area who accept Medicare.
Understand your costs
While Medicare covers many medical services, you will still be responsible for some costs, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. It's important to understand your costs so you can budget accordingly.
Consider supplemental coverage
If you want additional coverage beyond what Medicare provides, you can consider purchasing a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans can help cover some of the costs that Medicare doesn't cover.
Use preventive services
Medicare covers many preventive services, such as annual wellness visits, screenings for cancer and other diseases, and flu shots. Using these
About Preferred Senior Benefits in Meridian, Idaho
Medicare is a federal program that provides healthcare coverage to individuals 65 years or older. Original Medicare coverage is broken into two parts—Part A and Part B—and is accepted by nearly every doctor and hospital in the country. Medicare Part A covers inpatient or hospital stays, while Part B covers outpatient or medical care. Together, Part A and B cover about 80% of the typical healthcare costs seniors face. This leaves a few significant gaps in coverage. Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and Medicare Advantage plans are policies designed to help extend coverage, lessen costs, and ultimately give beneficiaries peace of mind. If you or someone you know would like more information about how to enroll in Original Medicare or one of the Medicare Advantage plans, call now to speak with a licensed agent (208) 818-2523. We can’t wait to help you learn about your options.