Parts of Medicare
The Four Parts of Medicare
- room and board” while you are hospitalized as an inpatient. This means that Medicare Part A is Hospital Insurance.
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Also known as CMS.
Both Medicare Part A and Part B is Medical Insurance.
- Part C is the Medicare Advantage Plans.
- Part D is Your Prescription Plans.
Though this list is relatively basic, it’ll give you a basic idea of what each does. Below, you get an in-depth look that’ll explain each part to increase your understanding and dispel any questions or confusion you may have.
If this wasn’t confusing enough, there are also some parts that don’t fall under a letter! Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as MediGap plans, can take over for your Part C coverage, rather than enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Part A
Now that we know the cost, what does Medicare Part A cover?When it comes to thinking about part A of Medicare, you look at it as your room and board while you’re in the hospital. This is going to be your inpatient care during your stay. Also, this part of Medicare will provide you with a semi-private room for your hospital stay. It also includes your meals and medical services that you may need while you’re in the hospital.You may be wondering if you only need Part A or if you need another part. You may also be healthy enough where you may not need this many medical services. It may have crossed your mind on whether you can get away with Medicare part A by itself. You are not alone in this thinking. Some things could happen while you’re in the hospital that will fall under another part of Medicare. You may not want to think that you may need other services or believe that you are covered enough under Medicare part A. The reality is that it’s crucial for you to also enroll in Medicare Part B. This is especially important if you do not have any other coverage outside of Medicare. This could be health insurance that is part of your retirement plan or additional private insurance. However, it’s best to make sure you are enrolled in Medicare A and Medicare Part B if Medicare is your primary health insurance.You can contact Social Security to find the status of your Medicare Part A and your Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part B
What about the cost? Is Medicare Part B free like Medicare Part A?Unfortunately, unlike Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B does come with a monthly premium. The standard premium for Medicare Part B in 2021 is $148.50 monthly. This is standard premium is the average for most Americans across the country, although the monthly premium can actually increase based on the tax bracket you fall into according to your most recent tax return. This increase in the Part B premium is known as the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA).When it comes to Medicare and your health, it is essential to make sure that you’re enrolled in Parts A and B. With both of these together, a lot of your inpatient and outpatient care is going to be covered. Even if you are a healthy individual, something may happen that will require you to need both. Therefore, its better to be safe than sorry with your health care. Medical bills can add up relatively quickly, and they are quite costly. When you’re at the Social Security office signing up for Medicare, make sure you’re enrolled for both. That way, you are protected in the event of an emergency or for any of your everyday healthcare needs.Give us a call at 877-88KEITH (53484), an experienced agent will walk you through how to determine your Part B premium.
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part D
Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
As we mentioned before, there are other “parts” of Medicare that don’t fall into these lettered pieces. One very important part is a Medicare Supplement Plan, also known as a MediGap Plan.
MediGap plans are alternatives to Medicare Advantage plans.
Many people choose to remain under Original Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan to fill in the gaps in coverage left by Original Medicare. Unlike a Medicare Advantage plan, someone with Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement plan can utilize ANY doctor who accepts Medicare as a form of insurance, in all 50 states. That’s right! No more networks or out-of-network charges. This is an extremely beneficial aspect of MediGap plans, as we as Medicare beneficiaries want the ability to see the best doctor’s possible for any health needs that may arise.
Although Medicare Supplement plans have higher premiums than Medicare Advantage plans, it doesn’t necessarily make the more expensive. Medicare is essentially a pay now or pay later system. With a MediGap plan, you pay upfront in the form of a monthly premium, but your out-of-pocket is minimal. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you pay-as-you-go in the form of copayments, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums. You don’t want to be afraid to use your plan because you are worried about the bills that may arise!
There is a wide choice of 11 supplement plans, but the choice can usually be boiled down to 4 easy to understand options-
The 4 most popular Medicare supplement options are:
If you click on each option it will take you to a video that explains the benefits in depth.
* Since January 1, 2020, Medigap plans won’t cover Part B deductibles. Therefore, Plans C and F won’t be available to those individuals new to Medicare starting on this date.
Give us a call at 877-88KEITH (53484), an experienced agent will walk you through your Medicare Supplement plan options.
What Medicare Parts do I Truly Need?
When it comes to your healthcare, if Medicare is your only coverage, you need both parts of Original Medicare. These are going to be both Parts A and B. If you want to be eligible to enroll in other Medicare supplement plans or the Medicare Advantage plan, you will have to enroll in Part A and B of Medicare. Most people need Part D to help cover additional expenses in their healthcare, like prescriptions. That could be added as standalone coverage alongside the Original Medicare and as a Medicare supplement. You can also look into any Medicare Advantage plans that may have a built-in Part D drug plan. Before you enroll in Part D of Medicare, make sure that your Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t already cover your prescription drugs. There’s no need to register in any more parts than you need. Keep in mind that Part D is voluntary. If you already have drug coverage with your current plan, whether it be a Medicare Advantage plan or outside insurance, you will not need to worry about Part D of Medicare.
Is Any Medicare Mandatory?
Unless you have a specific amount of coverage, say through your employer, you will have to pay significant penalties if you enrolled late into Medicare. To avoid any of these penalties, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and B during your initial enrollment period. Of course, this is unless you have other coverage that will make up for not having Medicare. Even though Medicare is considered insurance, it is not mandatory.
Remember that once you enroll in any of your Social Security income benefits, your enrollment in Medicare Part A will be automatic. You cannot collect Social Security without being automatically enrolled in part A of Medicare as both of those two are linked together.
While dealing with Medicare can prove challenging at times, ensuring you have a clear understanding of what each part of Medicare does will help you make the correct choices for your current and future healthcare needs. At times, Medicare can be a beast of a program for you to deal with. With the proper knowledge at your disposal, you will have no problem picking out which parts are perfect for you. You’ll be confident enough to know what to do when it comes time to enroll.
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