Whether you or a loved one are nearing retirement, there are a lot of plans to make. One of them is choosing new health insurance. Though you can certainly purchase your own private health insurance, millions of people rely on Medicare insurance.
If this is something that you need to consider, you might feel overwhelmed by all of the new information. That’s where this guide comes in to help! We have created a basic explanation of Medicare insurance so that you can learn more about your options.
What is Medicare, and Who is it for?
The federal government offers Medicare as a health insurance program for seniors. You must be 65 or older to enroll in the program. Medicare insurance programs exist to help people cover medical costs associated with health emergencies or chronic illnesses. However, the insurance can also help pay for maintenance of good health.
It is important to understand that Medicare insurance is not a free benefit. All beneficiaries are required to pay premiums based on their income and coverage. You must also pay any out-of-pocket costs, so it is important that you learn about your coverage options and choose the best Medicare Insurance for you.
Types of Medicare Insurance Coverage
As with other health insurance policies, you can choose from several different coverage options. Rather than referring to them by metal tiers, they are divided into four main categories.
Medicare Part A only covers hospital care and hospice. It can also help pay for any short-term nursing home stays if you were in the hospital for at least three days. While most seniors do not have to pay a premium for this coverage, there is a $1,408 deductible as of 2020. You could also expect out-of-pocket expenses for long hospital stays.
This coverage option is more of your standard health insurance. It covers any of your doctor’s visits and outpatient care as long as the doctor accepts Medicare. You can also enjoy many free preventative services to maintain your good health. The flu shot, select screenings, and wellness visits are just a few of the free benefits.
Your income determines your premium for Part B insurance, but everyone has a $198 deductible. After the deductible is met, most retirees will have to pay 20% of doctor services.
If you want an alternative to traditional Medicare, Part C or Medicare Advantage Plans are your best bet. Part C coverage has fewer restrictions and different prices because it isn’t completely controlled by the government. Instead, a private insurance company pays for any Medicare-approved healthcare. Like an HMO plan, your Part C plans can sometimes require you to use in-network providers. It may even require you to get a referral to see a specialist.
You need Medicare Part D if you require prescription drug coverage. Like Part C, Part D is also a private policy that follows Medicare’s requirements. Your premium depends on the amount of coverage you require, but you can generally expect to pay up to $435 for your deductible.
What Medicare Doesn’t Cover
In a dream world, the best Medicare insurance would cover all of your health care needs, but unfortunately, it doesn’t. Corrective lenses and their required eye exams typically aren’t covered. You should also expect to pay out-of-pocket for hearing aids and dental care. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term nursing home stays either. Medicare Part A only covers short-term nursing home stays under certain circumstances.
The Right Time to Enroll in Medicare Insurance
Timing your enrollments right is just as important as selecting your coverage because you get a seven-month window. The window begins three months before you turn 65. You should sign up right when the window opens if you would like your coverage to start the month you turn 65.
If you missyour enrollment opportunity, you will be charged a penalty that could be long-term. Not to mention, you could be without coverage for a significant amount of time. The only other time you can enroll outside of your window is between January 1 and March 31, but the coverage doesn’t start until July 1. Therefore, it is crucial that you sign up on time.
Request a Medicare Insurance Today
If you’ve enrolled in Social Security benefits, a Medicare card will come to you in the mail three months before you turn 65. This is your opportunity to start looking at your options. If you haven’t signed up for Social Security, you’ll need to enroll yourself. We suggest that you start by gathering a Medicare insurance quote for your coverage options.