What is Medicare? Here are the Basics

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The topic of Medicare can be confusing, and it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed during the application process. Original Medicare is an affordable healthcare insurance solution that is managed by the government. For those who are eligible for Part A and Part B (Original Medicare), there are options to add Part C and Part D. 

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If you are feeling overwhelmed by the fine print, we are here to explain the basics. Read on for everything you need to know about Medicare:

Medicare Eligibility
When are you eligible for Medicare? There is no simple answer to this question, but if you are over the age of 65 there is a high probability that you will be approved. It is important to note that you do need to be a U.S. citizen with Social Security entitlements. Some other circumstances may affect your Medicare eligibility, such as your current work status.

There are a few provisions for those under 65 with serious health conditions. For example, those who are receiving benefits from Social Security for a permanent disability can apply. In addition, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) are conditions covered under the scheme.

Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A is one part of Original Medicare. This component gives you insurance for a range of hospital expenses. These items include inpatient hospital stays, hospice, nursing, and limited in-home care. If you previously paid taxes contributing to Medicare Part A, there will be no premiums.

Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B goes hand in hand with Medicare Part A. This covers you for other medical expenses and preventative care. Services include consultations with doctors, X-rays, tests, shots, medical equipment, and most outpatient services. There is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B, and this is based on your income. Social Security will work this out automatically, based on information obtained from the tax department.

Medicare Advantage
Original Medicare will not cover everything, and some people choose a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan to fill in the gaps. This gives you a single bill, a customized health care plan, and a number of added benefits. Dental, hearing aids, and prescription drugs can be included. These plans are offered from private, Medicare-approved insurance companies.

Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. These aren’t included in Part A or Part B, meaning Part D is usually something worth investing in. If you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan you may find this is already included in your health insurance package.

Alternatively, Part D can be added to your Original Medicare plan. If you require medication now or want the option in the future, this supplementary plan is recommended. For those who are on a low income, the “Extra Help” initiative from the government can help reduce the cost of Part D.

Maintaining Your Health
Your health will be a priority, and the right Medicare package will depend on your unique circumstances. While Part A and Part B are standard for many citizens from their 65th birthday, Part C and Part D are also worth considering.

With a wide range of coverage including hospital visits, preventative medicine, drugs, in-home visits, and shots, you can maintain your health throughout your retirement. While there are some limitations with Part A and Part B, Medicare Advantage can fill the gap.

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What is Medicare? Here are the Basics
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The topic of Medicare can be confusing, and it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed during the application process.
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