No one likes to get injured or sick. That’s why it’s important to prevent these occurrences by taking care of our bodies as much as possible.
Getting sick does not come cheap. Medical bills can eat up a big portion of your income especially if you don’t have a good health insurance coverage.
There are even more health risks as we age. As our bodies become more prone to illnesses, the need to have an extensive health coverage becomes more important.
The senior population is one of the biggest age groups that need good health care services and coverage. However getting private health insurance plans would be too costly given their age. That is why some of them are hesitant to get one.
Enter Medicare. This is one of the many affordable health insurance programs in the country that has been serving Americans for years.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance plan for individuals who are 65 years old and above, people with End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and qualified people under the age of 65.
There are specific criteria to determine Medicare eligibility for someone under the age of 65. It is as follows:
- If you have a disability and have been receiving disability benefits from Social Security or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for the past 24 months.
- If you have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
- If you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
Some will need to sign up for Medicare insurance themselves. In some cases, people are automatically enrolled.
Different Medicare Plans
Medicare insurance plans are split into different parts. Each covers specific services.
The Original Medicare Plans (Part A and B)
Medicare Part A and Part B are two parts of the Original Medicare. They are administered directly by the federal government.
Medicare Part A covers medically necessary hospital charges. These are inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care and home health care.
This plan is free if the insurance holder has worked and paid Social Security taxes for 40 calendar quarters and more. Otherwise, there will be a monthly premium.
Medicare Part B covers medical services like outpatient care and preventive services. Doctor’s services, durable medical equipment, lab tests, mental health care, and supplies.
Insurance holders have to pay a monthly premium for this coverage.
Medicare Advantage (Part C)
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies. They provide both Part A and Part B benefits.
There are many different kinds of Medicare Advantage plans available and they usually offer coverage for prescription drugs.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D provides coverage for outpatient prescription drugs. This coverage is offered by private insurance companies that are under contract with the government.
Most Medicare Advantage plans offer Medicare Part D. Original Medicare insurance holders can choose to have a stand-alone Part D plan.
Why Is Medicare Insurance Important?
Medicare insurance has served many qualified Americans for years and many are getting health care coverage from Medicare for free with the Medicare Part A plan.
The cost of private health insurance generally increases with age but with Medicare, health insurance coverage for the senior population doesn’t have to be expensive. The same goes for qualified individuals under the age of 65.
It’s hard to deny the importance of Medicare when it has been providing health insurance coverages for millions of Americans.