There are 4 parts of Medicare. These include Part A, B, C, and D.
Part A covers hospital care, providing you with affordable inpatient care. It also covers post hospital care, such as skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care. Part A does not cover long-term care, such as extended stays in a nursing home. Individuals can consider purchasing long-term care insurance if this is something they want to plan for.
When do I enroll in Medicare Part A?
If you buy Part A, you will pay up to $426 each month but, most people will get a premium-free Part A. You will receive premium-free Part A at 65 if you meet the following requirements:
- You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment
- You already get retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
- You’re eligible to get Social Security or Railroad benefits but haven’t filed for them yet.
If you are under 65, you can get premium-free Part A if:
- You have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and meet certain requirements.
- You got Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months.
- In most cases, if a person chooses to purchase Part A, they must have Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) and they must pay monthly premiums for both.
Part B is optional, and includes medical Insurance for outpatient services. Among these are doctor’s visits, laboratory testing, and advanced imaging such as MRI or CT scans. Part B also covers preventive care including flu shots, colonoscopies, mammograms and more. Finally, Medicare Part also covers more expensive services like radiation or chemotherapy for cancer, surgeries, medical equipment, and even dialysis for failing kidneys. *It may also cover clinical research, mental health services, second opinions before surgery and limited outpatient prescription drugs.
*Coverage must be determined medically necessary or preventive.
How do I sign up for Part B?
What is my cost sharing under Medicare Part B?
- the annual Medicare Part B deductible (in 2017, this is $183)
- 20% of the remaining costs, with no limits or cap
- any excess charges that a provider or facility may charge beyond what Medicare reimburses
- What is most significant is the 20% that you will owe for outpatient medical care. For services like surgeries or chemotherapy, your expenses can add up to thousands of dollars. There is no reason for you to be subject to these expenses when there are supplemental coverage options available for any budget. There are two main ways in which you can protect yourself against catastrophic medical spending. Medicare supplements are available for purchase to cover the parts that A & B don’t. If you need a more affordable option, Advantage plans are a great option to get your A & B benefits through a private health insurance plan at very little cost.
Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage Plans, includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B. It is run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies, and is an alternative to original Medicare. To receive Part C benefits, you must be enrolled in Part A and B. Medicare advantage plans usually include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of the plan.
Why do some Medicare Advantage plans have a $0 premium?
What are the Medicare Part C enrollment periods?