Understanding the Basic Parts of Medicare

Understanding the Basic Parts of Medicare

When you learn more about the basic parts of Medicare, you will discover why you need to buy a Medicare supplement policy. There are many important health care services that are not paid for under regular Medicare. Parts A and B are also known as “regular” Medicare. Supplemental coverage may be purchased through a Part C, Part D or a Medicare supplemental plan.

Here is an explanation of some of the basic parts of a Medicare policy:

  • Part A: Part A of Medicare pays for in-hospital care and services.  Part A is the part of Medicare that was held out as a deduction of your paycheck when you were working.
  • Part B: Part B of Medicare is for out-patient services and care.  There is some coverage with Part B for physical and occupational therapy as well as certain portions of home health care costs. No long-term care coverage is provided by either Part A or Part B of Medicare.
  • Part C: A Part C Medicare plan is an optional coverage you can purchase from a private insurance provider. It is also called the “Medicare Advantage” plan.  This plan picks up where regular Medicare (Parts A & B) leave off. This plan will help pay for co-pay and deductible amounts.
  • Part D: Part D of Medicare is for prescription medication. This additional coverage can help lower the costs of prescription medications.
  • Medicare Supplement Policy: A supplemental policy can help make up the difference for services and care not provided by regular Medicare. It can help you pay for co-insurance or co-pay amounts and pay for services such as dental, vision, hearing or long-term care.

To be eligible for part C, part D or a Medicare supplemental plan, you must first be enrolled in regular Medicare, parts A and B. It is important for you to enroll in any Medicare supplemental plans during the time of “open enrollment.” This open enrollment period lasts for six months after you reach the age of 65. A supplemental plan only pays for coverage for you. If you need coverage for a spouse, you will need a separate policy.

Understanding Medicare basics will help you be better prepared for the time when you start Medicare and help you decide what type of Medicare supplement policy you will need to buy. A trained insurance professional can go over the benefits and price of each plan available and help you decide which one is right for you

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