Getting Started With Medicare

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal insurance program available to people age 65 and older or people younger than 65 with certain disabilities or diseases. In order to qualify for Medicare you must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident for at least 5 consecutive years. Medicare is primarily divided into two parts often referred to as Original Medicare: Part A Hospital benefits and Part B Medical Services benefits. Most people do not have to pay for Part A insurance if you or your spouse have worked at least 10 years (40 quarters) throughout their life and paid Medicare taxes through their employment. Part B has a monthly premium that varies based on your household income, but most people pay the standard rate of $144.60/month (in 2020).

What does Medicare cover?

Most of the people I’ve talked to tell me that Medicare is the best insurance they’ve had in their life. It works all over the United States and doesn’t have a network of hospitals and providers that would limit your choices. Any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare will be able to provide care to you. Medicare coverage breaks down like this:

Part A Hospital benefits cover:

    • Inpatient hospital care
    • Inpatient mental health care
    • Skilled nursing care
    • Hospice care
    • Some blood transfusions

Part B Medical Services benefits cover:

      • Physicians services
      • Outpatient hospital services
      • Ambulance
      • Outpatient mental health
      • Laboratory services
      • Durable medical equipment (wheelchairs, oxygen, etc)
      • Outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy
      • Preventive care

    What’s Not Covered?

    • Medicare Part A and B deductibles ($1,408 and $198 in 2020), co-insurance (generally 20%), and premiums
    • Medicare Part B excess charges
    • Prescription drugs
    • Additional benefits like hearing, vision, and dental
    • Long-Term care or custodial care if that is the only care you need. Most nursing home care is considered custodial care.

    So now that you know how Medicare works, let's dive into your options for additional coverage.

    What Are Your Options For Additional Coverage?

    What Are Your Options For Additional Coverage?

    Medicare is just the start of the conversation. Let's dig a little deeper into what choices you have for coverage to help protect you from unexpected medical costs.

    Learn More About Your Medicare Options

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