What’s the deal with Medicare Enrollment?
Medicare is the U.S.A’s federally-regulated health insurance program. Primarily, it is responsible for helping over 63 million seniors more easily afford their healthcare expenses after retirement. That said, Medicare can be complicated at times.
Between eligibility requirements, enrollment rules, and tons of paper and digital correspondence, it can be all too easy to get confused. Courtesy of our friends at MedicareInsurance.com, here are three major things you should know about Medicare enrollment.
Medicare is composed of four parts, each of which may cover different aspects of healthcare.
Did you know that Medicare is not a one-size-fits all program? In fact, Medicare is primarily composed of four different parts, each of which is responsible for differing aspects of healthcare and may carry different levels of benefits as well as different pricing and availability.
The four main parts of Medicare are as follows:
Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance
Medicare Part A makes up one-half of what is typically known as “Original Medicare”. This part of Medicare typically covers expenses associated with hospital visits, such as inpatient surgery. Additionally, Medicare Part A often provides limited coverage for nursing home facilities and home healthcare.
Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance
Medicare Part B is the second half of the Original Medicare. Primarily, Part B covers expenses associated with doctor’s appointments, durable medical equipment (DME), and outpatient surgery. Preventive healthcare services are also usually covered under Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a bit different from Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are required by law to provide the same level of coverage as Original Medicare, but they often include additional healthcare benefits such as vision, dental, and hearing coverage. The main difference when it comes to Medicare Advantage, however, is that these plans are offered by private insurance carriers. Essentially, this means that their exact benefits, pricing, and availability may vary.
Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Part D is primarily responsible for helping Medicare beneficiaries pay for their prescription medication needs. Often, Medicare Part D is included as a package deal with Medicare Advantage plans, but it is possible to have a standalone Medicare Part D plan with Medicare Advantage if desired.
Age is NOT the only way to become eligible.
Many people mistakenly believe that the only way to become eligible for Medicare is to age into it. While this is partially true (most retirees will have the opportunity to enroll in Medicare upon reaching the age of 65), it is not entirely true.
The reality is, that certain groups may become eligible for Medicare before reaching 65 years of age. Mostly, this applies to individuals who have received Social Security disability benefits for at least two years. Additionally, people with conditions such as ALS or End-Stage Renal Disease may also be eligible for Medicare coverage prior to turning 65 years old.
No two Medicare plans are exactly the same.
Like snowflakes and strikes of lightning, no two Medicare Advantage plans are exactly the same. As stated, Medicare Advantage plans can often carry drastically different levels of coverage, price tags, and region availability, meaning it’s entirely possible to customize a plan that meets your exact needs.
Additionally, Medicare Advantage plans may also be assigned a star rating, ranging from 1 to 5, which can help beneficiaries determine which plans are considered to be the best in a given area.
If you’re looking to enroll in Medicare for the first time, you have a variety of assets available to you, including the knowledgeable, friendly, and experienced Medicare Advantage experts and licensed insurance agents available at MedicareInsurance.com. Contact them today to get started!