About Medicare Insurance

 

What Is Medicare Insurance?

Medicare is a federally regulated program that provides health insurance for all Americans aged 65 and older, certain individuals with disabilities, and those with End-Stage Renal Disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Funding for Medicare comes from payroll taxes and monthly premiums paid by the program’s enrollees.

 

Medicare is divided into four parts:

 

  • Part A: Hospital Insurance
    Provides assistance with the cost of inpatient hospital or nursing facility care. Also covered under Part A are some of the costs related to home health and hospice care.
  • Part B: Medical Insurance
    Helps pay for doctor fees, medical supplies, and other items not covered under Part A. In most cases, the costs covered under Part B are for services rendered on an outpatient basis.
  • Part C: Medicare Advantage
    Under Part C, individuals with Medicare Parts A and B can opt to receive all of their benefits through private health insurance providers – HMOs and PPOs.
  • Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage
    Anyone with Medicare Part A, B, or C can enroll in Part D, which provides assistance with prescription drug costs.

What are the benefits of Medicare Insurance?

Depending on what parts of the program an individual is enrolled in, Medicare can provide assistance with the costs of inpatient and outpatient care and prescription drugs. However, Medicare does not cover all costs, so individuals enrolled in the program must pay for certain expenses (e.g., deductibles, co-pays, premiums, etc.) out of pocket. Unlike private insurance, though, which has no obligation to provide services to individuals, Medicare is guaranteed for all citizens over the age of 65 and cannot be denied to those under age 65 who are suffering from certain diseases.

 

Medicare Insurance Statistics

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nearly 48 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare. Of this number, the vast majority (nearly 40 million) are individuals who have aged into the program1. The Kaiser Family Foundation projects that, by the year 2030, the total number of Medicare enrollees will grow to nearly 80 million2.

 

While it is difficult to determine precisely what your health care costs will be under Medicare, if you have paid Medicare taxes for more than ten years, then you will likely be eligible to receive coverage under Part A for free. If not, you may be required to pay for this coverage – up to $451 a month. Part B, on the other hand, is not free, and most individuals who opt for this level of coverage will pay $99 a month.

 

Your Medicare

Prior to enrolling in Medicare, you should carefully consider your health needs and weigh your coverage options. Will the services you need most be covered under your plan? How much are your premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs? Do your current health care providers accept Medicare? It is important to get the facts and make sure you meet enrollment deadlines.

 

For more information regarding Medicare benefits, costs, enrollment deadlines, and more, visit www.Medicare.gov.