What is Medicare? Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older. Medicare has 4 parts (not to be confused with plans). Each part of Medicare helps pay for different health care costs. Some parts of Medicare are FREE, some require an additional premium. While Medicare is complicated, here we have broken down the different parts of Medicare to help you understand it better. Be sure to also view the educational videos on Medicare, provided a little further below on this page.
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Part A is automatic and covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. Most people get Part A for free.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
Part B is automatic if you do not have other coverage through an employer or spouse. Part B coverage resembles what you may think of as traditional health insurance and covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. Most people will pay a standard Part B premium which varies depending on income.
Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private carriers and replace your original Medicare Parts A and B, as they are rolled into one plan. You can select between an HMO or PPO, and most plans may cover more of your healthcare costs and have additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage. Some may have dental or vision benefits. Premiums vary based on coverage, carrier and geographical location.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans add extra coverage to your Original Medicare Parts A and B. They cover some, if not all, of the expenses that Part A and B do not cover, like co-pays, deductibles and other charges.
There are many different types of Medicare Supplement policies available, however they are regulated so the benefits for these various policies (known as Plan A through N), are all the same regardless of the carrier. However, premiums can vary greatly among carriers.
Prescription drug coverage offered by private carriers contract with Medicare. Because premiums vary greatly, you should carefully weigh your prescription costs against all variables of these plans. Selecting the wrong plan can wind up costing you thousands. Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer prescription coverage as well.
Please note that you should sign up for Part D (even if you do not have prescriptions) when you first turn 65, as waiting may result in a costly monthly penalty added to your premium.
Note: Diversified Group Services, Inc., nor Jeanne Clark is not part of the Federal Medicare System. This is a solicitation for insurance. An agent may call you as a result of your inquiry.
The following videos are provided by and copyright of The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and are for informational purposes.