You probably know that Medicare is a federal health insurance program. However, there may be a lot about Medicare that you don’t know such as eligibility and types of coverage. You may also wonder who benefits from it.
To help you understand more about this federal health insurance program check out the information below.
What is Medicare?Many people think Medicare and Medicaid are the same things. However, they are not. Medicaid is a federal health insurance assistance program for low-income individuals. They typically don’t pay for the costs of covered medical expenses, but they may have to pay a small copay.
Medicare is a federal health insurance for elderly and disabled individuals. The insurance pays the medical bills from a trust fund. This trust is funded by the retirement taxes taken from your paycheck. When you are on Medicare, you pay part of the costs of your healthcare via deductibles and other fees. You also pay a small monthly premium if you need non-hospital coverage.
Do I qualify for Medicaid?To be eligible for Medicare if you need to meet any of the three eligibility categories:
- Age: to qualify for Medicare you need to have at least 65 years of age.
- Disability: if you are younger than 65 years old and have a disability, you are also eligible for this insurance.
- Specific medical conditions: individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease may apply for Medicare. End-Stage Renal Disease is any type of kidney condition that requires a transplant or dialysis.
Medicare PlansMedicare is separated into 4 parts, each of which has several different plans:
- Part A: covers hospital care, you get insurance for inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, home health care and hospice care.
- Part B: covers outpatient care. With Part B house visits, medical supplies and preventive services are paid.
- Part C: provides Medical Advantage plans, which are offered by private insurance companies. They work like traditional Medicare because they cover your medical and hospital costs.
- Part D: solely covers your prescription drug costs.
How to Apply for MedicareIf you do not have a disability or kidney condition, you are eligible to apply for Medicare three months before you turn 65 years old. Your eligibility period ends three months after your 65th birthday.
You can apply for Medicare online, the process takes about 10 minutes. You can sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B when you apply. Part B does require you to pay a premium for coverage.
If you choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B when you turn 65 years old, then you can sign up for it during the general enrollment. The general enrollment period starts on January 1st and ends on March 31st.