What is Medicare and How You Can Benefit From the Program
Enrolling in Medicare is vital for purposeful retirement. Medicare offers a strong healthcare foundation. It guarantees access to needed care, regular check-ups, and cost assistance. In essence, it empowers seniors to manage well-being and health expenses effectively.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a government-sponsored health insurance program that helps seniors cover the cost of medical care. It can be confusing to navigate, but there are resources available to help. For many seniors, Medicare is an essential way to keep their healthcare costs under control. But it’s not the only option. Private insurance plans are also available, and some seniors may prefer to pay for their own healthcare costs out-of-pocket. No matter what route you choose, retirement doesn’t have to be a time of financial stress. With careful planning, you can enjoy your golden years without worrying about your healthcare costs.
There are two main types of Medicare plans: Medicare Advantage and Private Insurance Companies.
Original Medicare consists of two parts:
- Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) – covers hospitalization
- Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) – covers doctor’s visits; Part A and Part B offer coverage for a wide range of medical services, but beneficiaries are responsible for paying deductibles and coinsurance.
Other parts of Medicare are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare:
- Supplemental (Medigap) – policies help pay Medicare out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance, and deductible expenses.
- Medicare Advantage Plan (previously known as Part C) – an optional managed care plan which includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B — prescription drugs and additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental — bundled together in one plan. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies and typically have lower premiums than Original Medicare. Thus,these plans generally have higher out-of-pocket costs.
- Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage) – offers prescription drug coverage, but beneficiaries typically pay a monthly premium in addition to their deductible and coinsurance.
Who is eligible for Medicare?
If you are a senior citizen, you are likely eligible for Medicare. Medicare is a health insurance program that is run by the government. It provides health coverage for seniors and for people with certain disabilities. Get an estimate of when you’re eligible for Medicare and your premium amount at Medicare.gov.
In order to enroll in Medicare, you must be a:
- U.S. Citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States.
- You must also be 65 years of age or older, or have a qualifying disability.
See more eligibility information at aarp medicare eligibility. If you meet these requirements, you can enroll in Medicare by contacting the medicare helpline or medicare phone number via Social Security Administration.
It’s never too early to start planning for retirement, and that includes figuring out what kind of Medicare coverage you’ll need.