Medicare is a federal health insurance program that was created in the mid-60's to help Americans age 65 or older, and certain disabled persons, to pay for medical care. The program is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Whatis Medicare A, B, C and D?
Medicare divides all medical care it will cover into four parts: Parts A, B, C, and D. Part A is Hospital Insurance, Part B is Medical Insurance, Part C is Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D is Prescription Drug Coverage.
In general, you become eligible on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. People who are disabled or suffer from end-stage renal disease may become eligible for Medicare before age 65.
If you're already retired and receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, you don't even have to apply for Medicare Part A and Part B. You'll automatically get a Medicare card in the mail when you turn 65. If you are not already retired - or do not qualify for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, you will have to file an application for Medicare Part A and B coverage.
A Supplement is also referred to as a "Medigap Policy". A Medigap policy is private health insurance that is designed to supplement Original Medicare. The policy will pay for some of the health care costs "gaps" that Original Medicare doesn't cover. If you have Original Medicare and you select a Medigap Policy, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare approved amounts for covered health care and then your Medigap policy pays its share. Supplemental Medicare Policyholders pay monthly premiums whether you get sick or not.
When comparing Medicare Supplement Plans also known as Medigap, be aware that all companies offering insurance must offer identical Medicare Supplement plans,. When comparing it can be a confusing and overwhelming process, with so many plans, benefits, rates, websites and articles distributing all sorts of information. Once you become familiar with Medicare and the different Medigap plans and the benefits they offer, the comparison process becomes much easier. From that point you are able to focus on a few areas; rates, customer service and the company financial rating.
To compare the different company plans and rates, feel free to call me and Iíll be happy to show you the lowest rates in your area.
Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as "Part C" continues to provide your Part A and Part B coverage, but can charge different amounts for certain services. You are still in the Medicare Program and you retain the rights and protections of Medicare. Costs and services will vary by plan. Advantage Plans are becoming tremendously popular due to the extra benefits that are provided. Private insurers offer the plans which have varying co-payments and premiums that start at $0 per month. YES, it's true!
You can select a Medicare Advantage Plan with Prescription Drug coverage which is also known as a "MAPD Plan", you may select a Medicare Advantage Plan without Prescription Drug coverage known as a "MA Only Plan", or you may select a Private Fee for Service Plan "PFFS Plan" with or without Prescription Drug coverage. When you select a MAPD Plan, you use one card for all your medical and prescrption needs. The Medicare Advantage Plans offer many benefits, low co-payments for doctor visits, free health club memberships, annual vision and hearing aide benefits, and prescriptions are just some of the extra benefits that are usually offered.
You must be eligible for Part A and enrolled in Part B of Medicare to join a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare monthly part B premiums must be paid by the Medicare beneficiary.
Studies show there are appoximately 43 Million Americans eligible for Medicare and about 14% are enrolled in Advantage Plans.
We were not born with exactly the same DNA or shoe size. Likewise, not everyone has the same health care and financial needs. Your options would be 1) Standalone Medicare 2.) Medicare and a Group Plan 3.) Medicare with a Supplement 4.) Medicare Advantage Plan C. Advantage options available are HMO, Private Fee for Service "PFFS" and PPO Plans. Click on the "My Medicare Comparison Worksheet" in the left column to compare your options.
Mike and Rose Battaglia
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