The federal health insurance program Medicare is available for seniors older than 65 years of age. The program currently insures over 45 million Americans. With Medicare, you can find coverage for medical needs from doctor visits to prescription drugs and more.
Medicare health insurance can seem complicated if you are not familiar with the different types and plans. Check out the top 6 things you need to know before signing up.
Medicare is not a one size fits all insurance policy. There are 4 parts, and you can select the coverage that best fits your needs. Each of the 4 parts provides the following coverage:
- Part A covers inpatient care, such as a hospital stay.
- Part B covers outpatient services, like doctor visits.
- Part C covers both inpatient and outpatient costs.
- Part D covers prescription drug expenses.
The combination of Part A and Part B is called Original Medicare. Part C is called Medicare Advantage. The federal government manages Original Medicare and private insurance companies provide Medicare Advantage plans. Other differences include:
· Medicare Advantage often covers more services than Original Medicare.
· Medicare Advantage plans can include prescription drug coverage.
· Original Medicare typically has a lower premium than private plans.
· Original Medicare allows you to see any doctor who accepts Medicare, while Medicare Advantage plans require you to stay in-network.
Medicare Advantage plans are likely similar to the insurance your employer provided. You will need to enroll in Part A, B and D to get the same amount of coverage.
Likewise, you may want to sign up for Medigap. A Medigap policy helps you pay for out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare does not cover. If you do not sign up for Medigap during your initial enrollment period, you may not be able to sign up for it late.
Discover when you should enroll to get the coverage you need sooner and avoid costly penalties.