More than 60 million people fall under Medicare coverage, and those approaching 65 are soon to join that number. Medicare has four basic parts to consider during enrollment, so selecting the proper coverage can seem confusing. In addition, seniors might want to obtain supplemental insurance to pay for costs not included in Medicare coverage. With all things considered, there is a fair amount to learn before your 65th birthday.
Matthew Bussard, a financial service broker for Medicare users across Rhode Island, tells seniors not to fret when it comes to Medicare knowledge. Professionals like him are here to help during the Medicare enrollment process and upgrading to better healthcare plans, billing, finding a new service center, and anything in between. In the following article, Bussard goes into further detail about Medicare basics, including eligibility, cost, the different Medicare plans, when to apply, Medigap coverage, and more. Bussard reassures those turning 65 that once you understand these essential facts, you will be well on the way to choosing Medicare coverage that best suits your needs.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for individuals age 65 or older as well as people at any age with disabilities or End-Stage Renal Disease. There are four different parts of Medicare that help cover specific services. These parts include Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.
Part A provides coverage for inpatient and hospital costs in addition to skilled nursing facilities, home health, and hospice care. Part B provides coverage for outpatient and medical expenses, including doctor’s services, preventive care, durable medical equipment, hospital outpatient services, laboratory tests, x-rays, mental health care, and some home health and ambulance services. Part C is the Medicare advantage part of Medicare that allows an alternate way to receive Medicare benefits, usually through a private health insurance organization. Individuals can choose whether they want to get their Medicare benefits through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Part D of Medicare is considered outpatient prescription drug insurance and is only provided through government-contracted private health care insurance companies.
Each part of Medicare falls under different cost requirements. Some variables come into play when considering costs, such as comparing Part A premium to Part A hospital inpatient deductible and coinsurance. Most individuals do not pay a premium for Part A, but for those who do, the 2021 Part A premium cost each month is $471, depending on if Medicare taxes are paid for less than 30 quarters. The standard Part B premium depends on income but is usually $148.50. Part C and Part D premiums depend on the individual’s plan.
When to Apply for Medicare
For those approaching 65, there is a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and Part B. The 7-month Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before turning 65, continues through the month of turning 65, and ends three months after turning 65.
Medigap coverage helps fill the gap in costs that Original Medicare does not cover. Medigap, or Medicare Supplement Insurance, is sold by private companies.
About Matthew Bussard
Matthew Bussard graduated from Colby-Sawyer College in 2017 and is the go-to financial service broker for Medicare users across Rhode Island. He volunteers at Oak Street Health Clinics to help clients enroll in Medicare, alleviate any unnecessary medical expenses, and answer healthcare benefits questions.
He is passionate about making a difference in his clients’ lives. Mr. Bussard understands the importance of proper healthcare, especially among the older population. He works hard to address his clients’ issues as quickly and efficiently as possible and is always available to guide them through the enrollment process.