What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for most elderly Americans (over the age of 65), people under 65 who qualify for disability income and persons who are suffering from end-stage renal disorders.  Monthly premiums are charged for Part A and Part B coverages. Once you reach the age of 65, you can start receiving Medicare benefits.

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance and covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care. Medicare Part A only pays for a limited amount of skilled nursing care.

Medicare Part B is medical insurance which covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventative services.

Medicare Part C (also known as a Medicare Advantage Plan) is health care that is offered by private health insurance companies and provides the beneficiary with all the Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include HMO’s, PPO’s, private fee-for service plans, special needs plans and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans.

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage that can be added to your Original Medicare plan.

Doctor with female patient

Medicare is quite often a confusing maze of when to enroll, what to enroll in and how to avoid costly mistakes.  Many seniors misunderstand the enrollment period, the various parts of Medicare or may confuse Medicare with Medicaid.

Here are three common questions and misconceptions of Medicare enrollment and mistakes most often made by American seniors. click here