Medicare Basics

What is Medicare? And what do I need to know? 

It’s important to understand what medicare is and how it works.  Those who do are in a better position to customize their health care for better coverage and lower cost. 

What is Medicare?

Medicare is the national health insurance program for people age 65 and older.  The program has been expanded to also include people with certain disabilities and end-stage kidney failure.  In total there are nearly 60 million Americans are Medicare beneficiaries. 

The Centers for Medicare (CMS) and Medicaid Services manage the Medicare program.  Social Security works in coordination with CMS to facilitate enrollment. 

Medicare is fairly simple to understand and is composed of different “parts”, all of which are voluntary. 

Knowing the basics parts of Medicare is critical in ensuring you maximize your benefits and your health coverage.  

Our firm is composed of individual licensed insurance agents who know Medicare inside and out.  We’re offer free advice and support to those new to Medicare.  We help you get better coverage at for less cost. Fill out the form to get connected to a licensed expert.

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Learn the different parts of Medicare

Medicare is composed of separate parts that help cover specific services. 

Medicare parts explained.

  • Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)  – covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and some other home heath care. 
  • Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) – covers doctor’s services, medical supplies, and preventive services.
  • Medicare Part C also known as Medicare Advantage are all in one bundled plans that add and expand your medicare benefits.  
  • Medicare Part D ( Prescription Drug Plans) – prescription drug coverage through local carriers to lower cost.
Understanding Medicare - What is medicare

Medicare Eligibility

Medicare eligibility is granted to all Americans age 65 and older.  As mentioned above coverage is also extended for specific disabilities and end-stage renal failure. 

Medicare Cost

Original Medicare is FREEE to all Americans who are of age and have worked at least 40 quarters paying into Medicare through taxes. The money was automatically deducted out of your paycheck through your working career. Those funds were put aside to cover your Part A and Part B premiums. As long as you’re fully eligible, Medicare part A and part B are Free.  

If you do not have 40 working quarters paying into medicare then you will have out of pocket premium cost for coverage.  Medicare is the same cost for everyone. Most people just pay those premiums over the course of their working career.  Those who stayed out of the workforce will have monthly premium payments.  Premiums depend on which parts of medicare you choose to enroll.   

Medicare Special Enrollment Period

Medicare enrollment period – the time in which you enroll for your Medicare benefits.  The enrollment period begins 3 months prior to your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and continues the 3 following months. 

This 7 month period is the best time to enroll for Medicare.  You’ve already paid Medicare taxes so you’re premiums for Part A is already covered.  And Part B is 80% covered with only a 20% co-pay from the enrollee. 

If you do not sign up for Part A & Part B within this special enrollment period you will be subject to a 10% financial penalty for every month that passed and you were not enrolled.  The enrollment penalty may last permanently for as long as you have Medicare.

What are Medicare Supplement Plans?

Medicare supplement insurance plans are sold by private insurance companies to cover the financial “gaps” in Original Medicare.  Many are surprised by the out-of-pocket cost that can loom with Medicare coverage. 

Though Medicare provides wonderful coverage enrollees still have premiums, co-pays, and coinsurance as their responsibility.  A Medicare supplement plan does not add any additional benefits or services, rather it fills in the gaps of your out-of-pocket cost.

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage plans do more than just cover the finial gaps in Original Medicare. These plan expand your health care coverage to include things like dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage. 

Sometimes called Medicare “Part C”, Medicare Advantage plans are a all in one solution for health insurance.  Plan reduce the cost of your health care by facilitating services through Medicare HMO and Medicare PPO networks.

Over 17 million Americans are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.  If you’re living with poor health, or if your just concerned about the cost of unexpected health care cost, then Medicare Advantage is certainly worth looking into. 

Customize Your Health Insurance Coverage

Health care cost are rising. And as we age we have an increasing need for health care coverage. Which means health care cost are likely to increase with you as you age.  

Our friendly agents are here to help you with enrollment, customizing your coverage, and reducing your out of pocket cost. 

We can answer your all your medicare questions and help have more control over your health care and your finances. 

Explore your Medicare options today by speaking with one of our licensed agents.

Medicare Basics for seniors

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