Many retirees have a difficult time understanding Medicare and what it covers. To start, it is important to know that there are several parts of Medicare that cover different types of care.
Medicare Part A
This covers inpatient services, as well as care if you are staying at a hospital or medical facility. Short term home health care, including hospice, is also covered by Medicare Part A. Generally speaking, most retirees are automatically enrolled in Part A when they reach 65 years of age.
Medicare Part B
Part B covers outpatient services. Examples include a doctor visit or treatment at a hospital or other facility where you are not checked in. Along with this, Medicare Part B is also responsible for covering lab tests such as blood work. Like enrollment in Part A, it is automatic most of the time. That being said, while Part A is generally free you must pay for Part B. In addition to a monthly premium, there is an annual deductible.
Medicare Part D
Although it is often times overlooked by retirees, Medicare Part D is an essential part of your medical coverage during this part of your life. These plans are optional, but are taken advantage of by many because they offer prescription drug coverage. If you are interested in Medicare Part D you will have to purchase this coverage from a private insurance company. This means that the cost and type of coverage can vary; based on the company you decide to buy from.
What about Medicaid?
Many are under the wrong impression that Medicaid is part of the Medicare system. Medicaid is a separate program that is in no way tied to Medicare. It is a program that is meant to help low income families pay for health care.
The majority of people over the age of 65 depend on Medicare for health coverage. Now that you know more about the different parts of Medicare, as well as how to get enrolled, you should have a better understanding of what the future holds.