Medicare is health insurance that is provided to American citizens and legal residents when they turn 65. The initial enrollment period for Medicare starts 3 months before you turn 65.
Medicare is a 4-part (A, B, C, & D) federal health insurance program that covers senior citizens and people with disabilities. Medicare Parts A & B are funded by the government and make up what is called Original Medicare. Parts C & D are provided by private health insurance companies.
Part A (Hospital Insurance):
A majority of people are automatically enrolled in premium-free Part A if they have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 years. This plan covers inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, hospice care, and in-home healthcare.
Part B (Medical Services Insurance):
This plan covers medically necessary services and preventive services (required to diagnose or treat a medical condition and/or prevent an illness), generally on an outpatient basis, that are not covered in Part A. After the deductible is met, Part B will pay for 80% of the Medicare-approved services and the patient typically pays the remaining 20%. Part B, unlike Part A, requires a monthly premium.
Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans):
This plan is a managed-care option that is covered by private insurance companies. Generally, it puts restrictions on the hospitals and providers that you can choose but covers all (or a majority of) your costs. For more information, please visit our Medicare Advantage Plans
Part D (Medicare Outpatient Prescription Drug Coverage):
This plan subsidizes the cost of prescription drugs and is not sold through the government. There are also numerous limitations (type and cost of drugs, for example) and qualifications. This plan is an optional add-on.
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