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Various Aspects of Medicare Explained

Once you reach the age of 65, you become eligible for Medicare. This is a government health care plan that has been extremely popular among retired Americans. In fact, the majority of seniors enroll in Medicare when they become eligible. However, Medicare can be confusing. Although this is often the best option for medical insurance for retired people, Medicare does not cover every cost associated with your health care. However, these gaps in coverage can be filled with supplemental insurance policies.

In addition to gaps in coverage, Medicare consists of four distinctive parts. They are labeled as Parts A, B, C and D. The following is a brief explanation of these parts as well as an explanation of supplemental insurance to Medicare.

Medicare Parts A and B

Together, these two parts of Medicare make up what most people think of when they hear the term Medicare. Generally speaking, these two aspects of Medicare are for inpatient and outpatient healthcare. Part A covers inpatient costs. This includes the time spent in the hospital. Part B is for outpatient care and includes visits to the doctor as well certain outpatient procedures. Both Medicare parts A and B only pay a portion of your medical costs. This will typically be 75 to 80 percent. The federal government is billed for the healthcare by doctors and hospitals. You are responsible for the amount that is not paid by the government.

Medicare Part C

Also called Medicare Advantage Plans, this medical insurance is offered by private sector insurance companies. It is an alternative to Medicare Parts A and B. This type of Medicare is similar to a private sector insurance policy. In fact, the plans are sold by private insurance companies. They are offered at affordable prices because the federal government pays subsidies directly to the private sector insurance firms. One advantage that Part C has over Medicare Parts A and B is that there are areas that are covered that Parts A and B do not cover. Dental is one example of this. Some prescription drugs and vision care are two other examples.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance

These policies are also called Medigap plans because they are designed to help pay for costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B. These plans are offered by private sector insurance companies, and you can enroll in a plan when you become eligible for Medicare. You will be able to take out a policy and be guaranteed continuous coverage for as long as you pay your premiums. There are several plans to choose from with different levels of supplemental insurance.

Medicare Part D (Drug Coverage)

This aspect of Medicare is designed to complement Medicare Parts A and B and covers prescription drugs. There are several plans to choose from, and they are offered by private companies that have been approved by Medicare. There is no physical required prior to enrollment or limitations on the current medications you may be taking. There are no restrictions on your income; however, for those with low income, there is financial assistance available to pay for the plan. You will need to fill out an application for extra help with the Social Security Administration. Although Medicare Part D is offered as plan to complement Medicare Parts A and B, it is also offered as an integrated element of a Medicare Part C plan.