What Is Medicare?
Medicare is federal insurance for those 65 years and over. If they meet certain requirements, people under 65 years old may be eligible for the program.
You must meet the eligibility requirements to register for Medicare. You can be eligible for Medicare enrollment by your age, disability benefits or if there are certain conditions such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or End-Stage Renal Disease.
You can be eligible for Medicare if you turn 65 or older. From three months prior to your 65th birthday, you will be eligible to enroll until three months later. This is the Initial Enrollment period. If you are eligible, you can apply for Original Medicare within this window. You may be subject to a late enrollment penalty if you delay your enrollment. These late enrollment penalties can be avoided if you are eligible and enroll during a Special Entry Period.
Disability: After receiving benefits for at least 24 months, people who have received Social Security Disability benefits may be eligible for Medicare. This category is automatically eligible for Medicare on the 25th of each month.
Health Conditions: People with End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis might be eligible for Medicare, even if they are under 65. Medicare is available to those with kidney disease who require frequent dialysis or a transplant. After the first dialysis, Medicare coverage will be available.
Medicare is broken down into different parts. Medicare Part A and Part B are also known as Original Medicare or Medicare Part C/Medicare Benefit, Part D and Medicare Supplement plans.
Medicare Part A provides inpatient medical care, as well as other services like skilled nursing facility care and hospice care. Part A covers inpatient hospital costs. It is not subject to premiums. Premium-free Medicare Part A is available to those who have paid at least 40 quarters of Medicare taxes during their employment. Part A has deductibles and copayments that must be paid for hospital stays and other services.
Medicare Part B includes outpatient healthcare services as well as other services like ambulance services, durable medical gear, doctor visits, laboratory tests, and preventive screenings. Part B is not premium-free like Part A. After the deductible has been met, Part B will have a yearly deductible. Once that deductible is reached, the beneficiary will have to pay 20% coinsurance for Medicare-approved services.
Medicare Advantage also known as Medicare Part C. Medicare advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare. They are offered by private, Medicare-approved insurance providers. Part C provides the same benefits and additional services as Original Medicare, including vision, hearing and prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Part D provides coverage for retail prescription drugs. This coverage can be obtained through Medicare Advantage, or you can purchase a standalone Part D policy while you are enrolled in Original Medicare.
Medicare Supplement Plans can be used to offset out-of-pocket expenses associated with Original Medicare. These plans are standardized in all states, including Florida. They are alphabetized from A to N.