New to Medicare?

Medicare is the United States’ federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older or those under 65 with certain disabilities.
With Original Medicare, there are two Parts that provide different coverage.
There are also private insurance plans that supplement Medicare. We will discuss both so you can better understand your options.

Enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B

For most, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A. However, sometimes you may have to manually enroll in Medicare Part A B during your initial enrollment period. Your initial enrollment period (IEP) is a seven-month period that begins three months before you turn 65 and ends three months later. You would have to manually enroll if you have not yet started receiving retirement benefits or don’t qualify for them. You can enroll in Medicare at www.socialsecurity.gov, by calling them at 1-800-772-1213, or in person at your local Social Security Office.

What Medicare Part A covers

Part A covers: 

  • Inpatient care in a hospital — When you’re admitted to the hospital as an inpatient after an official doctor’s order, which says you need inpatient hospital care to treat your illness or injury.
  • Skilled nursing facility care 
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care

What Medicare Part B covers

Part B covers: 

  • Medically necessary services: Services or supplies that are needed to diagnose or treat your medical condition and that meet accepted standards of medical practice.
  • Preventive services: Health care to prevent illness (like the flu) or detect it at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to work best.

What are Medicare Advantage plans?

Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, feature coverage similar to Original Medicare but they have additional benefits. 

Your plan will have different benefits, but it may include: 

  • Adult day-care services
  • Dental
  • Fitness memberships
  • Hearing
  • Nutrition programs
  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Services and supports for those with chronic conditions
  • Transportation to doctor visits
  • Vision
  • Wellness programs

If you have a chronic health condition, you may also receive additional benefits specific to your situation. These could include things like meal delivery, home cleaning, education programs for your disease, visits to a nutritionist, or transportation to grocery stores.

What are Medicare Supplements?

Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap, are private insurance plans that cover the leftover costs of Original Medicare like coinsurance. 

There are 10 lettered plans, A-N, that each cover a different percentage of the out-of-pocket costs Medicare sticks you with.

Some even cover a percentage of a foreign travel emergency.

Medicare Supplements are standardized, meaning no matter which company you go with a plan of the same letter will have the same coverage. The only possible difference would be price. 

Each plan covers a different percentage of the following items: 

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance or copayment and hospital costs
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • First three pints of a blood transfusion
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B deductible***
  • Medicare Part B excess charges 
  • Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits)

*** Those who turn 65 after January 1, 2020 are not eligible for plans that offer this benefit

What is Medicare Part D?

Part D is a private insurance plan that offers coverage for your prescription drugs. It comes as either a standalone plan or as part of your Medicare Advantage plan.

We’re here to help.

Do you need help deciding which combination of coverage you require? We help lots of people every day. Our help is absolutely free and we have a passion for educating everyone about Medicare.

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