Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program. It was created in 1965 for people who are at least 65 years of age. You are provided Medicare regardless of your income, medical history, and even health status. This system was put in place as a type of “universal healthcare” for our senior citizens. In 1972 it was expanded to also cover this under 65 who have a long term disability. Medicare is now responsible for helping over 60 million people with health care, and in some ways financial security. Medicare covers a lot of potentially expensive health care related costs. The costs include hospital visits and stays, physician visits, prescription medications, preventive services, skill nursing facility and home health care, as well as hospice care. As of 2017 Medicare accounted for 15% of the total Federal b\Budget, and 20% of nations health spending.
Generally speaking, people over the age of 65 are entitled to Medicare Part A if they (or their spouse) is eligible for Social Security payments. Medicare comes at no cost if they have paid payroll taxes for 10 or more years. Those who are under 65 who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments generally become eligible for Medicare after two years. Those who are diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) become eligible for Medicare without any waiting period.
Verus Health Partners is the preferred choice on the Space Coast for Medicare Enrollment. Our team of friendly and knowledgable agents will help you determine the right levels of coverage based on your unique situation.
Medicare was designed to cover a wide variety of health services. These services include both inpatient and outpatient services, as well as physician services. Additionally prescription drugs are covered as well. There are several “parts” to how Medicare is organized.
Part B covers physician visits, outpatient services, preventive services, and some home health visits. Most benefits have a deductible of $185 and coinsurance of 20%. There is no coinsurance or deductible that is charged for annual wellness visits or preventive services. These services have to be rated “A” or “B” by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. Examples of these services would be a prostate cancer screening or mammography.
Part C refers to the Medicare Advantage program. This program allows beneficiaries to enroll in a private health plan. Generally these plans are from a health maintenance organization (HMO) or preferred provider organization (PPO). They also would receive all Medicare-covered Part A and Part B benefits and possibly Part D benefits. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has grown significantly. There are more than 20 million beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2018, or 34 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries.
Part D covers outpatient prescription drugs through private plans that contract with Medicare. This includes prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage. The Part D benefit helps pay for enrollees’ drug costs while also providing coverage for very high drug costs. There is financial assistance available for beneficiaries with low incomes and modest assets. Enrollees pay monthly premiums and cost sharing for prescriptions, with costs varying by plan.