Medicare is a federal program that offers health care coverage in the US. It is run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. You qualify for Medicare if you’re a US citizen who is 65 years of age or over. If you are under 65 and you receive Social Security Disability Insurance, you are also eligible for the program. Some younger people with other disabilities can also qualify for Medicare. And don’t confuse Medicare with Medicaid. The latter offers health and other services to eligible people on low-incomes, but it is not the same as Medicare. Keep reading to find out more about Medicare and what it covers.
Original Medicare is the traditional fee-for-service health care coverage program. It is provided directly via the federal government or from a private Medicare Advantage Plan. There are two parts to Original Medicare: Part A and Part B. The first is for inpatients and hospital coverage. The latter is for outpatients and medical coverage.
Both parts of the Original Medicare plan cover specific health care options. For instance, Part B covers the cost of some viral-infections tests. That’s good news, as it means Medicare Part B allows you to get tested for COVID-19. And there are no out-of-pocket costs. Indeed, a recent bill now legally requires traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans to fully cover the expenses for coronavirus testing-related services, with no deductible. Check out this guide to find out more about the specifics.
This part of Original Medicare covers inpatient care in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility. But it does not cover long-term or custodial care. Part A also covers hospice care, and it can include some home health services like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medical social services. Medicare Part A has a deductible and coinsurance. That means you will only pay a portion of the bill. Also, there’s no coinsurance for the first 60 days spent in inpatient hospital care.
Medicare Part B covers two service types. They are Medical Necessary Services, which provide supplies or services required to diagnose or treat a health problem, and Preventive Services, which enable you to prevent an illness or detect it at an early stage. More specifically, Part B of Original Medicare covers things like:
· Doctor’s visits.
· Ambulance services.
· Durable medical equipment.
· Clinical research.
· Mental health services.
· Limited outpatient prescription drugs.
Medicare Advantage is also known as Medicare Part C. Private insurance companies offer that health coverage plan. It includes the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, and sometimes Part D. The plans often include additional coverage too, such as dental care, and vision and hearing checks.
Part D of Medicare covers the expense of prescription drugs. Private insurers only offer the program, and Part D requires a monthly premium of around $33 per month.