If you are over the age of 65, under 65 but have a specific disability or permanent kidney failure and have been a legal us citizen for at least 5 years, then you are eligible for Medicare. Medicare has come as a product of a law passed by Congress in 1965. Since it is a federal program you are required to contribute to Medicare through your paychecks during your working years, you will also discover that the guidelines for eligible are similar from state to state.
Medicare consists of two parts:
Medicare Part A – This helps to pay for care if you are a patient in a hospital, nursing home or hospice and for care in your home under certain conditions. Many do not pay a month premium for this because it is paid for by taxes that you have paid while working.
Medicare Part B – Helps to pay for doctors services and outpatient care that is medically necessary. It also pays for preventative services such flu shots. This year, the standard monthly premium is $96.40.
During the first seven months after your 65th birthday, Medicare enrollment is free. Individuals covered by Medicare as called beneficiaries and will have help paying for most of their medical needs. Medicare does not cover care given at home, or in a nursing facility, for those with recurring disability or longtime illness.
Medicare also offers Advantage Plans, although it is not available in every state. These plans offer prescription programs to the beneficiaries. Specific details depend on the program you choose and your eligibility.
Signing up for Medicare is very simple, but there are different plans and enrollment periods. If you are receiving Social Security benefits before you turn 65, you will be enrolled in Part A and Part B automatically the month you turn 65. You will receive your Medicare card in the mail three months before your birthday.
You should also know that neither Medicare nor a Medicare Advantage plan will cover all of your medical needs. If you have original Medicare, you may want to consider purchasing an affordable Medicare Supplement plan to help you cover the cost that Medicare does not cover. You can learn more about Med Supp Insurance at Medigap Advisors.
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.