Original Medicare Parts A and B
Medicare has three parts called A, B and D. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) is managed by the federal government and it covers in-patient care, nursing facility care, hospice, and some in-home care. Medicare Part B (physician and medical) covers doctor's services, out-patient care, and some preventive care. Medicare Part A's premium is $443 per month, and the premium is the same for everyone, unless you have survivor benefits or if you are disabled. The premium for Medicare Part B starts at $96.40, depending upon your annual income. This is withdrawn straight from your social security check. If you choose, you can decide not to receive Part B coverage. Both A and B require deductibles, co-pays, and maximum benefits, in addition to added lifetime reserve days. With these plans, there are gaps in coverage that you must be responsible for paying; however, when you choose a supplement plan from a private insurer you will have coverage for these gaps.
Medicare Part D is for Prescription Drug Coverage
If Medicare is new to you then you may choose a separate prescription drug plan through a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Part D offers basic coverage along with large co-pays and deductibles. It is crucial to know exactly what is covered by your plan even if it may be challenging, and you should also know your drugs and dosages. You can research your plans on the Internet or at your state's department of insurance.
Medicare Advantage Part C
Part C is health coverage you can choose through private insurance companies, instead of original Medicare. The Medicare Advantage Plans are approved by the federal government but this plan means you will not receive coverage through traditional Medicare. Insurance companies have strict government regulations to sell Medicare Advantage Plans because they are viewed as an extension of the federal government. Medicare Advantage plans include Special Needs Plans, Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee for Service, and Medical Savings Accounts. Keep in mind that you do not need a Medicare Supplement plan because Part C includes supplemental benefits. When you choose your health care plan, you must research the benefits that the plan includes. Medicare Advantage plans restrict the health care providers you can visit, so if you wish to select your doctor/hospital, it is best to choose a supplement plan. Medicare does not cover every medical service you may need, like vision, dental, and hearing aids, so research your options before you sign up. Choosing an independent agent, in addition to research, is best if you are to receive the best health coverage possible.