Selecting the right type of Medicare coverage for you can be a daunting task. In order to select the best plan, you should think about your needs and how to get the very most out of each of your benefits. It is also helpful to understand what Medicare is and a bit about its history.
What Is Medicare?
Medicare is essentially public health insurance. It is run by the federal government and it is available to persons who are over 65 years old, some people with disabilities, and some people with kidney failure.
Medicare has three basic parts. Part A covers such things as hospital stays, hospice care, and nursing homestays. Part B covers such things as doctor’s treatments and outpatient services. It may also pay for at-home medical equipment. Part D covers prescription drugs and shots.
There is a Part C known as Medicare Advantage, It is offered by private insurance companies who are contracted by Medicare and includes parts A and B. Some plans include prescription drug coverage and others do not.
History of Medicare
The inception of Medicare can be traced back to 1945 when President Harry Truman discovered a need for national health insurance. 20 years later, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. Today over 60 million people have this kind of insurance and it accounts for 18 percent of federal spending.
Your Options for A Medicare Plan
You have several plans to choose from when it comes to Medicare. Each plan has certain advantages and disadvantages.
Traditional Medicare consists of plan A and Plan B and it is a good option for most people. It covers the most expensive elements of medical care but does not pay for prescriptions. It will not pay for dental care or vision care.
If you already have dental and vision insurance, you may want to consider this option. Plan A is generally free and plan B is reasonably priced and can be deducted from your Social Security. It is accepted nationwide and you can go to any doctor that accepts the coverage.
It does not cover medication and prescription drugs can be very expensive. If you are taking a lot of medications or if you have a prescription that is very expensive, you may need supplemental insurance.
Medicare Advantage costs more upfront, but it also covers more of your medical needs. Unlike traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage offers the same options as other private insurance such as HMOs and PPOs. In the long run, Medicare Advantage covers more types of services and it can save you money.
You will have to pay a copay with Medicare advantage and premiums are higher. Like other HMOs and PPOs, Medicare Advantage limits your choice of doctors to those that are in your network. You also have to seek coverage in the state in which you live.
Medigap is a type of supplemental insurance offered by private insurance companies to fill in the gaps of Medicare. For example, if you have a medical bill and Medicare only pays 50% of the bill, Medigap will come in and pay the other 50%. It will also cover your medical bills if you travel outside of the country.
Medigap simply pays the portion of the bill Medicare does not pay, it does not cover any extra medical services. There are no Medigap plans for couples, it only covers individuals.
Medicare can be a decent system if you choose your plan wisely. South Florida Medicare Specialists can help you pick a type of Medicare that is a perfect fit for your needs.