Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed to help people cope with their medical expenses. There are several categories with different coverages. You may need some and not others, which is why it’s important to inform yourself and determine which plan will best suit you.
In this introduction to Medicare health insurance, we’ll provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding acquiring a policy for yourself as well as how a health insurance exchange can come into play.
What is Medicare health insurance?
Medicare health insurance is a federal program that covers the costs of healthcare for certain individuals, separated into three categories:
- Individuals who are 65 years or older
- Younger individuals with certain disabilities
- People diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
What are the types of Medicare plans?
Medicare is split into different parts, and you can choose which ones to enroll in. With that in mind, most people who have Medicare use both parts A and B—called Original Medicare.
Part A: Medicare Part A refers to hospital insurance and covers inpatient hospital stays, specialized care at a nursing facility or hospice, and some types of home healthcare. Part A is provided by the federal government.
Part B: Medicare Part B refers to medical insurance and covers outpatient care, medical supplies and services, doctors’ appointments, and preventative healthcare. Part B is provided by the federal government.
Part C: Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage(MA), combines parts A and B into one premium package. They provide all the coverage of the first two plans and may have bonus benefits as well. They’re typically provided by insurance companies and exchanges as opposed to the federal government.
Part D: Medicare Part D, or Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), refers to prescription drug coverage and covers a given set of generic and branded drugs, called a formulary. They’re typically provided by insurance companies and exchanges as opposed to the federal government.
How does Medicare work?
In simplest terms, if you are eligible for Medicare and successfully apply for a plan, Medicare can cover a portion of the costs associated with the aforementioned events. You can go to any Medicare-enrolled healthcare provider, receive treatment, pay your share of the copayment, then Medicare will cover the rest of the costs. It’s an incredibly easy way for qualified patients to get access to quality healthcare.
Medicare is not free, however. There are fixed costs and premiums that you have to pay for. The price of these payments will vary depending on your needs and the status of your health. For instance, the prescription drug plan will vary in terms of cost depending on what types of medication you need, and how frequently you use them.
Medicare Advantage is the priciest of the plans, but it can provide coverage for procedures that aren’t normally included in any of the other plans. These can include dental care, eye exams, cosmetic surgery, and custodial care. As such, your Medicare plan can (and should) be tailored to your specific needs, so choose the best plan for you, and the price will adjust accordingly.
How do health insurance exchanges come into play?
A health insurance exchange is a marketplace through which individuals can acquire health insurance. These are usually found on the Internet and are owned and operated by third parties.
Some exchanges are powered by special software that can enable users to perform other tasks, such as managing the insurance policies of different people. In this regard, they provide a great service that can be advantageous to individuals and businesses alike. W3ll is such a service, making it easy for you to distribute and manage Medicare plans for yourself and even for your company or family.
Medicare is a great solution for some people to better afford proper healthcare. The process of applying for a plan can be quite complicated, however, so it would be beneficial for you to go through a health insurance exchange that supports Medicare so they can guide you through the process.