Medicare can sometimes be confusing, especially when you mix up complicated health problems with the demand for medical supplies such as hospital beds or oxygen. While the insurance labyrinth is difficult to solve, an estimated 47.5 million people received this program in 2010, i.e. more than one-sixth of the country’s population.
Here’s a quick overview and answers to frequently asked questions about Medicare and home care.
- Who is qualified?
The 2019 Medicare supplement plan is a national health insurance program provided by the US government for those who:
– are 65 years and older
– are below 65 with certain disabilities
– are diagnosed with end-stage Renal Disease (ESRD), a form of persistent renal failure requiring kidney transplant or dialysis.
- What types of services does Medicare cover?
Medicare has four different coverage areas: Parts A, B, C, and D. The original Medicare comprises of Part A & part B. Part C is referred to as the “Medicare Advantage Plan.” The 4 parts are briefly summarized:
– Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance
* Part A covers care in the hospital as well as health care in care facilities, home care and hospice.
– Medicare Part B: Health Insurance
* Part B includes doctor visits and visits to other health care providers. In addition, Part B includes hospital outpatient clinics, permanent medical equipment (such as intravenous infusion devices), and home health services. Part B also includes certain types of preventive services, such as certain vaccinations.
– Medicare Part C: Medicare benefit
* Part C combines health plan options you earn from other private health insurance companies approved by Medicare. Part C also integrates Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) and can be tailored to include additional benefits at an additional cost.
– Medicare Part D: Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
* Medicare-approved prescription drugs and its prescription is covered by Part D. It may reduce the premium of other medicines. Just like Part C, Medicare-approved private insurance companies also run Part D.
- Why do I have to choose between Medicare plans?
The choice of “Original Medicare” (Parts A & B) includes the payment of Part B monthly premiums and may require additional cover to pay deductibles and co-insurances to visit hospitals, see doctors, and other providers who will accept Medicare. Should you need prescription medication, you will need to join the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) and pay a monthly premium.
The “Medicare Advantage Plan” (Part C, which includes Parts A and B) requires, in addition to the Part B premium, the payment of monthly premiums and an additional payment to In-Plan Doctors, Hospitals. If prescription drugs are not covered by your additional coverage, you have the option to join the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
As with prescription drugs, you can purchase additional coverage to cover benefits that are not covered by Medicare. The “Original Medicare” plan allows for the option to buy Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) while the “Medicare Advantage Plan” does not.
It is advisable to always check if you can take advantage of any other additional insurance cover provided by your employer, union, or military.