Medicare Insurance

Healthcare Writer

Updated on July 17th, 2024

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Overview

Medicare is a huge help for more than 65 million older individuals, giving crucial healthcare coverage to people who are 65 and up, some people with disabilities, and those under 65 with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Think of it as a safety net for a lot of people who need medical care.

The basic Medicare package, which includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), doesn’t cover everything. There are some gaps, like certain treatments or services that you might need but aren’t included. That’s where Medicare Supplement (also known as Medigap) or Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans come into play. They can help cover those extra costs that Original Medicare doesn’t, making sure you’re more fully protected.

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Original Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) 

  • Inpatient care in hospitals 
  • Skilled nursing facility care 
  • Hospice care 
  • Home health care

Original Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) 

  • Services from doctors and other healthcare providers 
  • Outpatient care 
  • Home health care 
  • Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other equipment) 
  • Many preventive services (like screenings, shots or vaccines, and yearly “Wellness” visits) 

Additional benefits are available privately-ran Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plans), and Medicare Supplement (also known as Medigap).

Eligibility:

  •  If you’re 65 or older, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have specific disabilities or suffer from ESRD under the age of 65, you’re eligible for Medicare. 

Plan Costs: 

  • Prices can be different. Part A might not cost anything for many people, but you might have to pay some money upfront and a part of the bill. Part B has a monthly cost or premium, and you’ll also need to pay some money upfront and a part of the bill too.
    • Part B’s monthly premium is $174.70 in 2024.

How to Enroll:

  •  Sign up during the seven-month Initial Enrollment Period around your 65th birthday or during the annual Open Enrollment from October 15 to December 7.

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