Once you have reached the age of 65, the government will automatically enroll you in the federal insurance program known as Medicare. The numerous choices concerning this coverage can be difficult to comprehend. Fortunately, understanding the various options will put you in a great position to choose what suits you best.
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A has but one intention: to pay your medical bills if you should require hospitalization. If you are a United States citizen aged 65 or older who has paid into Social Security for at least 10 years, your Part A coverage is premiumfree. Nevertheless, it does impose a deductible that currently stands at $1,260 for the first 60 days of inpatient care.
The government also makes Part A available to all United States citizens under the age of 65 who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, end-stage renal disease or other disability.
Medicare Part B
Part B coverage is not free of charge. As of 2015, its monthly premiums stand at a base of $104.90 with a $147 annual deductible. Medicare Part B routinely covers such essentials as doctor visits, physical therapy and durable medical equipment as well as other services or supplies needed to diagnose or treat a medical condition. It also provides coverage for such precautionary services as screenings, counseling, preventive shots and wellness visits.
If your chosen health care provider accepts assignment, the majority of preventive services will cost you nothing.
Medigap (Medicare Supplement)
While Medicare Parts A and B do provide coverage for a number of essentials, some people compensate for the areas it misses by purchasing Medigap insurance. Available only through private companies, this extra protection will normally assist with covering Medicare's annual deductibles and copays as well as medical care obtained outside the United States.
Interested parties can purchase Medigap only during one of two periods, as follows:
- Those who already have Medicare Part B can purchase Medigap during the six months that follow the first day of the month in which they turn 65.
- Those who sign up for Medicare Part B at a later time have six months after that date during which to purchase Medigap.
Anyone attempting to obtain Medigap coverage outside of these two windows will be subject to medical underwriting as well as may be forced to pay a higher rate.
Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage
For those who choose to purchase it, Medicare Part C provides an alternative to traditional Medicare. Although the law mandates that the coverage provided by these so-called Medicare Advantage plans at least equate to that available through Parts A and B, the actual offerings differ widely from one plan to the next.
The premium you pay for Medicare Part C will vary according to three things: the state in which you live, the private insurer from whom you purchase it and whether you decide to go with an HMO or PPO.
Medicare Part D (PDP)
This separate policy, purchased from a private insurer, provides coverage for prescription drugs. If you purchase a Medigap plan you must also purchase a standalone Part D plan. Failure to do so will result in penalties.
How All Kinds of Insurance Can Help
When it comes to your Medicare needs, the experts at All Kinds of Insurance will answer your questions and help you decide upon the plan that suits you best. The annual election period runs between October 15 and December 7, so don't miss out. Call us today at 702-534-4697 to schedule a convenient appointment either at our office or in the comfort of your home.