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Medicare Insurance Plans
For the first time in history, the United States will have more Americans reaching retirement age than ever before. In fact, it is estimated that more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach retirement age every day for the next 19 years, according to the Pew Research Center.
When Medicare began on July 30 1965, when President Lyndon B Johnson signed the Medicare and Medicaid programs into law. At the time, Medicare coverage was limited to what is now known as Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Prescription drug coverage (Part D) was signed into law on December 8, 2003, by President George W. Bush.
With amazing advancements in modern medicine, it’s quite common for individuals to now live twenty to thirty years or more past their retirement age.
Many Americans are surprised to learn that Medicare may not cover all of their medical needs. In fact, there are actually four parts to Medicare:
Medicare Part A is also known as Hospital Insurance. In most cases, individuals can obtain Medicare Part A without paying a monthly premium if they are at least 65 years of age and currently collecting social security benefits. Part A covers things like hospitalization, nursing care, home health care and hospice. In lieu of Medicare Part A many individuals opt to enroll in a Medicare Advantage health plan which covers the services that Part A doesn’t.
Medicare Part B is also known as Medical Insurance. Individuals that enroll in Part A will normally be required to enroll in Part B coverage. Most individuals are required to pay a premium for Part B coverage. Part B covers medically necessary and preventative services, such as mental health, getting a second opinion, partial hospitalization and clinical research. Most individuals pay a monthly premium of $104.90 with a $147 annual deductible. Monthly premiums are normally deducted from Social Security payments. The actual premium amount can vary and is based on income. In addition, depending on income some individuals will pay a surcharge on top of the monthly premium. However, Parts A and B do not cover Long Term Care, eye and dental care, hearing aids among others.
Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans are similar to an HMO or PPO and covers Medicare Parts A, B and D. It is important to keep in mind that a Medicare Advantage Plan is a private insurance plan that you purchase from a qualified plan provider. In addition, you must also already have both Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) coverage.
Medicare Part D is also known as Drug Coverage. Individuals that are eligible for Medicare can enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan. To enroll in Part D, you will need to contact a private insurance carrier that offers Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Part D.