Medicare is a vital program that is deemed one of the most important social programs in our country. It acts as a lifeline for millions of Americans who are 65 or older, disabled, or suffering from end-stage renal disease. Given its importance, it’s no surprise that there is a lot of misinformation out there about the program. To help you sort through the noise, we’ve compiled a list of 3 things you need to know about Medicare.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage to seniors aged 65 and over and selected individuals who are under 65. This could be people who have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for about 24 months or are suffering from end-stage renal disease. This program is run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In a nutshell, the main purpose of Medicare is to provide health insurance coverage for individuals who are 65 or older.
Medicare is funded by a combination of payroll taxes, premiums, and surcharges paid by beneficiaries. And it covers a wide range of health care needs, including hospitalization, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and more. You can also check out the introduction to Medicare to know more about what it is and what it covers. This will help you understand the different parts of Medicare and how they work together.
Top 3 Things You Need to Know About Medicare
1. Medicare Comprises Four Parts
Medicare Part A is hospital insurance covering inpatient care, including skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care. Medicare Part B is medical insurance covering outpatient care, including doctor visits, preventive services, durable medical equipment, and some home health care.
Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a private health insurance plan that covers everything Part A and B do, and sometimes more. At the same time, Part D is prescription drug coverage. It’s important to know that you are not required to enroll in all four parts, but most people do because it provides the most comprehensive coverage.
2. You have to be enrolled in Medicare to Receive Coverage
You cannot simply sign up for Medicare when you turn 65. You must first enroll in the program. You can do this online, by phone, or in person at your local Social Security Office. You will need to provide some basic information, such as your date of birth and Social Security number. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Please note that you can enroll in Medicare three months before you turn 65 or three months after.
3. Medicare Comes with a Cost
While Medicare is a great program that provides much-needed coverage for seniors, it is important to note that it does come with a cost. There are monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and copayments/coinsurance that beneficiaries are responsible for. The amount you pay will depend on your income and the type of coverage you choose.
If you have a limited income, there are programs available to help you pay for Medicare costs. If you are not sure what you will be responsible for, you can consult with a professional for Medicare consultation in New York City to discuss your specific situation. They will help you determine what your costs will be and how to best prepare for them.
With the help of this guide, we hope you have a better understanding of Medicare and what it entails. So, if you or a loved one is turning 65, be sure to enroll in the program and take advantage of all that it has to offer. Remember, it is an important part of maintaining your health and well-being.