The government health insurance program known as Medicare has been an important part of the American health care system for decades. But many people are still confused about what Medicare is and how it works. In this article, we’ll explain the basics of Medicare insurance, including who’s eligible and what’s covered.
Who Is Eligible for Medicare?
Medicare is an insurance program for people who are 65 years of age or older, certain people with disabilities, and some people with permanent kidney failure. To be eligible for Medicare, you must be a United States citizen or permanent legal resident and have lived in the United States for at least five years.
What Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare is a comprehensive health insurance program that covers a wide range of health care services and supplies. Part A, commonly known as hospital insurance, covers inpatient hospital stays and limited home health care services. Part B, known as medical insurance, covers doctor visits, preventive care, outpatient services, and some medical equipment and supplies.
Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility (SNF) stays, hospice care, and home health care services. Part A also covers some preventive services such as flu shots, pneumonia vaccines, and mammograms.
Part B covers doctor visits, preventive care, outpatient services, and some medical equipment and supplies. This includes doctor visits, lab tests, x-rays, and medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers. Part B also covers some mental health services, including counseling and therapy sessions.
Part C, known as the Medicare Advantage Plan, is an alternative to traditional Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies and provide the same coverage as Parts A and B, but with additional benefits such as vision, dental, and prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans may also offer additional benefits such as routine physicals, hearing exams, and gym memberships.
Part D is a voluntary prescription drug plan that covers the cost of prescription medications. Part D plans are offered by private insurance companies and vary in terms of cost and coverage.
How Much Does Medicare Cost?
The cost of Medicare depends on several factors, including your income and whether you qualify for any subsidies or discounts. Generally speaking, Medicare Part A is free for most people, while Part B and Part D require premiums. Medicare Advantage plans typically have monthly premiums and may require copayments or coinsurance for certain services.
Medicare is an important part of the American health care system, providing coverage for millions of people. Understanding the basics of Medicare is essential for anyone looking for health insurance coverage. If you’re eligible for Medicare, it’s important to weigh your options and select the plan that best meets your needs.