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Which Medicare is free?

Introduction

If you're eligible for Medicare, there are various options to choose from. Some are free, while others carry a monthly cost.


Original Medicare.

Original Medicare is an important part of the federal Medicare program. It's available to people who are 65 or older. However, it's not free for everyone—you have to pay a monthly fee for some parts of Medicare. This can make it difficult to know which parts are actually free, so here's a breakdown:


  • Part A: Hospital insurance - This is available without paying any monthly fees if you qualify for Original Medicare (which you only do if your age is 65 or older).

  • Part B: Supplemental medical coverage - This plan will cost you $134 per month in 2019 unless you're on Social Security. You don't need Parts A and B at the same time; this supplemental coverage just gives you additional benefits like prescription drugs and other types of hospital stays beyond what Parts A through C cover on their own.* Part C: Private insurance plans - If your income doesn't exceed 100 percent above Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), then there should be no cost associated with enrolling in one of these plans; however, there may be copayments involved when seeing doctors outside the network.* Part D: Prescription drug coverage - While being enrolled in prescription drug coverage from one's employer or union can reduce costs considerably compared to buying directly from pharmaceutical companies, doing so does not necessarily mean that premiums won't apply because most employers also require workers who take advantage of such plans pay some portion out-of-pocket each month as well as meet certain conditions before receiving full benefits

Medicaid.

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals and families. Medicaid eligibility is based on income, family size, assets, and other factors. There are different eligibility requirements for children, adults, pregnant women, and people with disabilities.

Medicaid also covers long-term care costs when you need nursing home care or other services in an adult foster home or assisted living facility. A Medicaid managed care plan may pay these expenses instead of a private insurer if your state has chosen one of these plans to manage its Medicaid program (most states do).


Special Needs Plans.

Special Needs Plans are for people with disabilities, and Medicare pays for some of the costs. To be eligible for a Special Needs Plan, you must have an eligible disability and it must be determined by Social Security that you have a developmental disorder or physical or mental impairment that requires special care and treatment.

You will need to apply through Medicare if you think your condition meets their requirements, but it's important to note that not all costs will be covered.


Medicare Advantage Plans.

With Medicare Advantage Plans, you get your Medicare benefits through a private insurance company instead of Original Medicare (Parts A and B).

If you’re eligible for Original Medicare, you can also enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. You may pay more for your health care with a Medicare Advantage Plan than you would with Original Medicare, but it might be worth it if the alternative is paying out-of-pocket for all of your medical expenses under Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Plans come in two different flavors: managed care and private fee-for-service plans. The services covered by these programs are similar to those covered under Parts A and B of Original Medicare except that they also cover dental benefits (if offered by the plan) and hearing aids or other devices that help improve hearing loss or decrease tinnitus (ringing in the ears).


Prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Part D is a prescription drug coverage program that helps pay for prescription drugs and other services. Medicare Advantage plans may include Part D, so you can combine your medical and drug coverage in one plan.

Medigap policies are supplemental insurance that helps pay for copayments and coinsurance.

Other types of supplemental insurance you might consider include dental and vision coverage, long-term care insurance, life insurance policies, and hospice care policies. Learn more here.


Some Medicare options are free, some aren't.

There are two main types of Medicare plans:

  • Part A and Part B

  • Medicare Advantage plans (Part C)

Medicare Part A is free if you have a traditional Medicare supplement plan, and it covers hospital expenses. However, if you're currently on Medicaid or have an employer-based insurance policy, you may not qualify for full coverage from this program.

Medicare Part B is not free but offers additional benefits such as medical equipment and supplies and doctor's office visits that aren't covered by Part A alone. It doesn't cover prescription medications or routine dental care—you'll need another plan for those things (most private companies offer dental insurance alongside your health plan). If you don't have other health coverage through your job or through Medicaid, this part is mandatory under federal law. In order to enroll in either part B or part D (which we'll discuss later), though, there are some financial qualifications that must be met first.


Conclusion

There are many Medicare options to choose from, and some of them are free. Just remember that not all Medicare plans are created equal. The best one for you will depend on your needs, preferences, and budget. So do your research before signing up for any health plan!



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. Parts A and B cover about 80% of seniors' typical healthcare costs. This leaves a few significant gaps in coverage. Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and Medicare Advantage plans are policies designed to help extend coverage, lessen expenses 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 cannot wait to help you learn about your options.

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