Medicare Basics

Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older, people under age 65 who have certain disabilities, and people of any age who have been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B is referred to as Original Medicare.

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is considered hospital insurance that helps cover:

  • Inpatient care in hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Hospice care
  • Home Health care.

For most Medicare-eligible enrollees, Medicare Part A has no premium. However, there is an per benefit period deductible.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B is considered medical (outpatient) insurance to help cover:

  • Services from doctors and other health care providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Some preventive services
  • Durable medical equipment

Part B includes a monthly premium, annual deductible, and 80/20 coverage.

There are policies and guidelines to consider when enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B, and Medicare Plans. It is very important to understand the policies in order to prevent:

  • Gaps in medical and/or drug insurance¬†
  • Late enrollment penalties
  • Delay in insurance coverage
  • Higher premiums