Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease.
If you are approaching your 65th birthday, you may need to sign-up for Medicare. The seven month enrollment period includes your birthday month and the three months before and after your birthday month. You can begin the process online: (http://www.medicare.gov/people-like-me/new-to-medicare/getting-started-with-medicare.html)
The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:
Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.
Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.
A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage.
Part D adds prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
NOTE: Medicare doesn’t cover everything. If you need certain services that Medicare doesn’t cover, you’ll have to pay for them yourself unless you have other insurance or you’re in a Medicare health plan that covers these services.
Even if Medicare covers a service or item, you generally have to pay your deductible, coinsurance, and copayments.
Some of the items and services that Medicare doesn’t cover include:
To learn more go to www.medicare.gov