The Basic Benefits
Medicare Part A
For most people, it has no premium. After meeting a deductible, Part A covers inpatient care in a hospital and skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care), hospice care, and home health care (not all). There are co-pays associated with stays longer than 60 days as well as no out-of-pocket limit.
Medicare Part B
There is usually a premium for Part B that can increase based on income. It helps cover medically necessary doctor’s visits, outpatient care, medical equipment, mental health, and other medical services. Part B also covers many preventive services. Once you pay your yearly deductible, Medicare generally pays 80% of medical services. You are generally responsible for 20% coinsurance with no out-of-pocket limit.
Medicare Part D
Part D is a prescription drug coverage policy. It covers both generic and name-brand drugs. There are a variety of plans available offering various costs and coverage. Part D coverage is optional and is offered to everyone with Medicare. If you decide not to get it when you’re first eligible, and you don’t have other creditable coverage, you’ll likely pay a late enrollment penalty if you join a plan later.
Filling the Medicare Gaps
All Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans are sold by private companies and offer a variety of plan choices to fit your needs and budget. They fill in the gaps of Medicare with various healthcare benefits at variable prices. Keep in mind that a Medicare supplement plan does not provide Part D prescription drug coverage. So, you will need an additional plan for Part D.
Medicare Advantage (Part C)
Medicare Advantage is quickly becoming popular because of the extra benefits that are offered such as extra days in the hospital, cheap out-of-pocket costs for doctor visits and low (to no) premiums. Not only do Medicare Advantage Plans offer the medical coverage you need, but most include Part D drug coverage. In most cases, you will have a limited network service area, which means you will need to visit providers who are in the same network. The most effective way to choose the right plan is to talk to an agent who can help you compare the cost and coverage.
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