Medicare is the health insurance we pay into while you work so we can be covered upon our retirement at age 65 or if you become disabled by Medicare standards. Most of us would expect this to be a simple process when it comes time to apply for Medicare, but it does not always work that way. Even after you have signed up for Medicare coverage each year you have to review and determine your Medicare supplemental insurance and prescription coverage plan. Please let us help you with this process and clear up any questions you may have about these plans.

Different parts of Medicare cover different services. There are Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D

Original Medicare which is administered directly by the federal government has two parts:

Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers most medically necessary hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health and hospice care. It is free if you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 40 calendar quarters (10 years)

Part B (Medical Insurance) covers most medically necessary doctors’ 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 not a separate benefit. Part C is the part of Medicare policy that allows private health insurance companies to provide Medicare benefits. These Medicare private health plans, such as HMOs and PPOs, are known as Medicare Advantage plans and alternate medical supplement plans. If you want, you can choose to get your Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original Medicare.

Part D (outpatient Prescription Drug Insurance) is the part of Medicare that provides outpatient prescription drug coverage. Part D is provided only through private insurance companies that have contracts with the government—it is never provided directly by the government.

Medicare Advantage plans must offer at least the same benefits as Original Medicare (those covered under Parts A and B) but can do so with different rules, costs, and coverage restrictions. You can also get Part D, Medical Supplement plans, as part of the benefits package if you choose. Many kinds of Medicare Advantage or Medical Supplement plans are available. You may pay a monthly premium for this coverage, in addition to your Part B premium.

Helpful videos and articles:

Social Security page:  The Basics of Social Security Retirement Benefits

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