When do I apply for Medicare? What does it cover? What do all those parts mean?
Medicare has a maze of options. Medicare Part A and B are offered through the federal government while Part D is offered through private insurance companies. Finally, you have the option of Advantage Plans. Most people want to know how they work together and their best options.
Each of these different areas cover different items and should not be considered in isolation. Whether it is Healthcare or the Medicare, we can help you put together the options which suit you best.
Very briefly, here are your options:
First, Medicare Part A is hospital insurance.
It will also cover skilled nursing facility care, home health, and hospice care. The good news is that it won’t cost you anything if you have paid Social Security taxes for at least 40 calendar quarters (10 years). If you have less time into Social Security, you will pay a monthly premium for Part A.
Secondly, Medicare Part B is for many of the necessary doctor’s services, preventive care, durable medical equipment, hospital outpatient services, laboratory tests, x-rays, mental health care, and some home health and ambulance services.
This coverage costs a monthly premium just north of 100 dollars per month on the low end all the way up to 380.80 per month on the high end. The premium depends upon your income and whether or not you are taking Social Security. If you are taking Social Security, the monthly premium will be deducted from your Social Security check.
Thirdly, there is what is called Medicare Part D. Part D coverage has to do with prescription drugs.
This is the coverage only provided through private insurance companies. These plans are standardized but cost different amounts so it is important to look at the costs before purchasing since you will effectively be purchasing the same thing regardless of the insurance company that offers the same plan.
Furthermore, if you want different health insurance other than Medicare Part B, you can certainly do so through a Medicare Advantage Plan.
These plans offer the same benefits but can do so under different rules. There are many different types of private plans under the HMO and PPO structure. If you elect to go this route, you will still pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium and you will pay the cost of the Medicare Advantage Plan.