What is Medicare? Medicare is a national health insurance program in the United States, begun in 1965 under the Social Security Administration and now administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
When can I apply for Medicare? During your Initial Enrollment Period. It lasts for 7 months, starting 3 months before you turn 65, and ending 3 months after the month you turn 65.
Medicare vs. Medicaid: Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage if you are 65+ or under 65 and have a disability, no matter your income. Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage if you have a very low income.
What is Medicare Part A? Part A is hospital insurance. ... You will also have to pay a deductible before Medicare benefits begin. Medicare will then pay 100% of your costs for up to 60 days in a hospital or up to 20 days in a skilled nursing facility. After that, you pay a flat amount up to the maximum number of covered days.
What is Medicare Part B? Part B is medical insurance. Benefits cover certain non-hospital medical expenses like doctors’ office visits, blood tests, X-rays, diabetic screenings and supplies, and outpatient hospital care. You pay a monthly premium for this part of Original Medicare. The fee can be higher for people with high incomes. A different government program, Medicaid, can help cover Medicare Part B premiums for low-income beneficiaries.
What is Medicare Part C? Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. This insurance often includes every type of Medicare coverage in one health plan. It’s offered by private insurance companies contracted through CMS to provide a Medicare benefits package as an alternative to Original Medicare. Enrolling into a Medicare Advantage plan is optional, but to obtain this private insurance, you must also have Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. You also may have to continue to pay your Part B premium if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.
What is Medicare Part D? Part D is optional prescription drug coverage. Medicare Part D is available as a stand-alone prescription drug plan through private insurance companies, and the monthly fee varies among insurers.
Medicare Open Enrollment: This period is also known as Fall Open Enrollment, and the Annual Election Period. This Medicare Open Enrollment period happens every fall, from October 15 to December 7.
This Medicare Open Enrollment period generally lets you:
- Sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan
- Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare
What is Medigap? Also called Medicare Supplement Insurance, is health insurance coverage provided by private companies designed to pay for costs not covered by Original Medicare. Depending on which plan you get, these costs might include copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, as well as services Original Medicare doesn't cover, such as travel outside of the U.S. Rx not included.
Dental: Some Medicare Plans have reimbursement of dental expenses. If a dentist has opted out of Medicare, no benefit will be paid.