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The Expert Guide to Medicare

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Medicare is an insurance program that helps with paying for health care expenses for retirees and disabled individuals. A lot of people eligible for Medicare don’t even know it exists, so let’s break down how it works when to sign up, and what to look out for.

Medicare: Definition

Medicare is health insurance for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease. It covers the cost of doctor visits, preventive care, hospitals, prescription drugs, durable medical equipment, hospice care, and home health services.

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill to protect elderly Americans against the high costs of healthcare. Since then, over 63 million individuals have signed up for Medicare.

The cost of daily living is consistently increasing, but Medicare doesn’t cover custodial care or long-term care. Daily living covers custodial care, which includes help with bathing, eating, and getting out of bed.

Types of Medicare

One’s choice of Medicare health insurance plan is based on many factors, including the kind of Medicare program one is eligible for. There are four main options: Part A, B, C, and D. Each has its own set of rules. It’s crucial to understand how these plans work together so one can choose the right one for them.

Part A helps fund inpatient hospital visits, home health care, skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some start-up costs of continuing care services that are covered under Part B.

Medicare Part B is the insurance that helps cover some types of medical care, most notably lab services and diagnostic tests, outpatient care, home health care, and certain kinds of equipment such as wheelchairs and oxygen.

Medicare Advantage or Part C plans are offered by private companies that provide Parts A and B benefits as well as coverage for prescription drugs. The plans often include extra benefits, such as vision, dental, hearing, and wellness services.

Medicare Part D plans offer coverage for prescription drugs, which helps pay for prescribed drugs and medical supplies.

Medigap is ideal for individuals who want extra insurance to cover out-of-pocket expenses for things like copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. With a range of standardized plan types, one can choose the cost-effective plan that complements their retirement lifestyle. Medigap policies also don’t provide hearing, vision, and dental benefits.

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