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The Top 10 Things you Didn’t Know About Medicare

Medicare is one of the most critical government programs in the United States. It provides healthcare coverage for millions of Americans, including seniors and people with disabilities. However, there are a lot of things about Medicare that many people don’t know. This article will discuss 10 of the most exciting facts about Medicare.

What is Medicare?

First and foremost, it is essential to understand what Medicare is all about. Read the full article if you want Medicare explained properly.

Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance coverage to people over 65, certain younger people with disabilities, and those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In addition to providing coverage for medical services such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and preventive care, Medicare can also help pay for prescription drugs.

You don’t have to enroll in Medicare when you turn 65

Many people think they have to automatically enroll in Medicare when they turn 65; however, this isn’t true. People already covered by employer or union health care plans may keep their existing plans instead of signing up for Medicare at age 65.

Medicare doesn’t cover all medical expenses

Medicare only covers certain healthcare services and expenses. In particular, it does not cover long-term care or most dental care expenses. Additionally, you should be aware of many deductibles and co-pays associated with Medicare plans before enrolling in a plan.

You may qualify for assistance paying medicare premiums

If you have limited financial resources and meet other criteria, you may be eligible for assistance paying for medicare premiums through the Extra Help program from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This program helps those who need additional help affording medicare premiums, drug coverage costs, and copayments.

Medicare has four parts

Medicare comprises four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Each part covers different benefits and services, so it’s essential to understand what each one does before signing up for Medicare coverage.

  • Part A of Medicare covers hospital care, such as inpatient stays. Skilled nursing facility stays hospice care and some home health care services.
  • Part B covers doctors’ visits and preventive services like flu shots, cancer screenings, and other medically necessary services not covered by Part A.
  • Part C is a way to get Medicare through private insurance providers offering medicare-approved plans that cover both Parts A &B; they may also include additional benefits such as vision and dental coverage.
  • Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug coverage program that helps you pay for prescription drugs.

Medicare has income-related premiums

Income-related medicare premiums are based on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) from two years before the year you enroll in Medicare. So, if you enrolled in Medicare in 2021, your medicare premium would be based on your MAGI from 2019. Depending on your income level, you may have to pay higher Medicare premiums than other medicare beneficiaries who earn less than you do.

You can sign up for Medicare at any age

Most people sign up for Medicare when they turn 65. However, Medicare is available to people of any age who meet specific criteria, such as those with disabilities or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). In some cases, medicare eligibility is extended to spouses and dependent children.

There are medicare savings programs available

If you have limited resources, there are medicare savings programs that can help reduce the cost of Medicare for you. These include Medicaid, Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB), and Qualifying Individual (QI) Programs. Each program has its qualifications and benefits, so it’s essential to check which one may be best for you.

You can switch Medicare plans during specific periods

If you aren’t satisfied with your medicare plan, you can switch to a new one during specific periods of the year. The Annual Election Period (AEP) is from October 15th to December 7th each year and allows Medicare beneficiaries to switch medicare plans for the upcoming year. Additionally, a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period runs from January 1st to March 31st each year, where medicare beneficiaries with Part C plans can make changes to their coverage.

There are penalties for late enrollment

It’s essential to enroll in Medicare on time, or else there may be penalties associated with late enrollment. If you don’t sign up for Medicare when you first become eligible, you may have to pay the penalty in the form of an increased premium if you enroll later.

Medicare doesn’t cover all medical costs

Medicare doesn’t cover everything, and it is vital to understand what Medicare does and does not cover before signing up for a plan. Medicare covers hospital care, doctor visits, preventive services like flu shots and cancer screenings, prescription drugs, and durable medical equipment (DME).

However, Medicare does not typically cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, or routine foot care. It can also be helpful to check if Medicare covers the specific services you need before enrolling in a Medicare plan.

In conclusion

Medicare is an essential part of the American healthcare system, and it is crucial to understand all aspects of medicare coverage before enrolling in a Medicare plan. There are many things that Medicare does not cover, and there can be penalties associated with late enrollment. Additionally, there are medicare savings programs available for those who qualify. Knowing what Medicare covers and understanding your eligibility can help ensure you get the most out of your Medicare benefits.