If you’re nearing the age of 65, you’ll want to get familiar with what Medicare is all about, so that you’ll be able to best know how you can enroll in the health insurance plan should you desire.  Medicare has been around for many years. It is a federal health insurance program that helps aging men and women 65 and older with various health care expenses.  

There are various parts to Medicare, known as Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. You’ll want to learn more about these parts before enrolling, so you can get the most out of Medicare. 

The following are some important facts that you ought to know regarding Medicare:

  • Medicare works a lot like Social Security. Men and women can enroll in Medicare if they’ve been working and paying taxes in the U.S. for ten years or more. For those who may not have worked very much, they may still be able to enroll in Medicare, but must pay a higher cost.
  • Medicare Part A is essentially hospital insurance that covers things like inpatient hospital visits or stays, nursing homes, various parts of home health care, and hospice care. It’s also known as “Original Medicare”. Those that worked for ten or more years and paid into Medicare for those years don’t usually have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A. Those that didn’t pay into Medicare taxes for at least ten years can still enroll in Medicare, but will have a monthly premium. 

With this type of Medicare, you’ll still be liable for a portion of your hospital bills, and perhaps a deductible as well. 

  • Medicare Part B is medical insurance that covers things like doctor visits, bloodwork, screenings, x-rays, some medical equipment, and outpatient hospital care. You are responsible for paying a monthly premium, which may be higher for those whose income is higher.  With this Medicare part, you’ll still be liable for a portion of your health care costs, as well as a deductible. Typically, around 20% is your portion if you see a doctor that participates in the Medicare program.
  • Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a private healthcare insurance that covers all Medicare parts in one plan.
  • Medicare Part D is coverage for prescription drugs. You can enroll in this part alone via private insurance companies or combine with other Medicare parts.
  • Under Medicare, many routine or wellness visits are fully covered, as well as some screenings like colonoscopies, diabetes, and mammograms.
  • If you’re not receiving Social Security benefits at age 65, then you must enroll in Medicare yourself. If you are receiving Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled.
  • Enrolling in Medicare on time is important. If you wait around, you may incur late fees or higher premiums.
  • Medicare does not typically cover things like dental, hearing, or vision expenses.
  • Medicare is not free. The price varies depending on situations. Part A usually requires a deductible per period and Part B usually charges a monthly premium.
  • Medicare is a health insurance program backed by the federal government for those over 65 years old and those that may be younger and disabled.
  • You’re able to modify your Medicare plan each year during the Open Enrollment Period. 

These are just some of the facts about Medicare. In order to get the most of out of a Medicare Plan, talk to a Medicare specialist or visit www.medicare.gov.

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