Are you feeling confused by health insurance terminology? Medicare can seem complicated as there isn’t just one basic plan to choose from. While different options give you more flexibility, it can be difficult to know which plan will be right for you.
Learning about all of the different components can make the decision-making process easier. If you are getting ready to enroll in Medicare, the following information will help. Read on to find out how each plan works:
Medicare Part A
Once you turn 65 you will be eligible for Medicare, as long as you meet the basic requirements. You will need to be a U.S. resident and be entitled to Social Security benefits. Medicare is also available for those with a permanent disability, ALS, or ESRD.
This insurance is referred to as Original Medicare and is broken into Part A and Part B. Part A reduces expenses relating to care given in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and the home. If you or your spouse have previously paid taxes into Medicare, you may not have to pay a premium for this.
Medicare Part B
While Medicare Part A covers inpatient care, Medicare Part B covers outpatient care. This includes doctor visits, diagnostic services, treatments, tests, and other preventative measures. It will also cover the cost of an ambulance in case of an emergency. Medicare Part B usually has a small monthly premium, but the amount you save on these essential services will be well worth it.
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C is also referred to as Medicare Advantage. These plans are provided through private, Medicare-approved insurance companies and cover everything you get with Part A and Part B, plus extras. You will generally get lower copays and one convenient monthly bill. Comparing Medicare Advantage plans will help you find the right fit, as these plans can vary significantly.
When choosing a Medicare Advantage plan look for services you may need such as dental, vision, and drug prescription coverage. The provider should also give you access to a network of health care professionals to keep the costs low, without sacrificing the quality of care.
A trusted health insurance company will be able to offer you flexible options. For example, if you have a preferred doctor you may still be able to see them for a higher fee.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is optional and you can get this in two ways. The first is to add it to your Original Medicare plan for a small fee. The alternative is to purchase a Part C plan, which usually includes Part D coverage.
What is Part D? This program subsidizes drug prescriptions, making them more affordable for those who are eligible for Medicare. Even if you don’t need this now, it is worth having. There are specific enrollment periods when you change your Medicare plan and you don’t want to miss out if you need it unexpectedly.
Making Informed Decisions
Medicare doesn’t have to be complicated! Once you understand what coverage you’ll likely need you can choose the right plan for your unique requirements.
If Original Medicare isn’t enough, there is the option to expand your coverage by signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan. No matter what you decide, make sure you consider Part D as prescription drugs can be expensive and this could save you money in the future.