What is Medicare?

Medicare is a national health insurance for people 65 or older, people with disabilities, or ESRD (end stage renal failure).  There are different parts to Medicare and it's important you understand what they are and how they work.

Medicare Part A

Inpatient services (Original Medicare)

Part A covers inpatient costs. In addition to hospitals, Part A covers skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and home health care.  While Part A will cover the cost of your room, it does NOT cover treatments such as scans or surgeries.  Those are under Part B.

It is free to most people at age 65 which is determined by work experience.

Medicare Part B

Doctor and outpatient services (Original Medicare)

Medicare Part B covers doctor visits, lab tests, diagnostic screenings, medical equipment, ambulance services, and other outpatient services.

It involves more costs than Part A which is adjusted yearly and has a deductible.  You will want to check every year for determine your cost for the next year. 

Medicare Part C - Medicare Advantage Plans

Plans A, B, D all in one

Medicare Part C is also known as an "all in one" alternative to Original Medicare. These plans include Parts A, B, and usually D.   These plans can fall under HMO's, PPO's, and PFFS (Private Fee-For-Service).  

These plans have a lower out-of-pocket cost than Original Medicare and may offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn't cover like vision, hearing, dental, gym memberships, and more.  Some plans include a $0 cost monthly premium. 

Medicare Supplements

(Or Medigap plans)

All Medicare supplement plans fully or partially pay for: 
* Part A coinsurance
* Part B coinsurance
* Costs for 365 extra hospital days
* Hospice care coinsurance
May also pay for
* Parts A & B deductible
* Part B excess charges
* Foreign travel emergency care with limits

The coverage level varies from plan to plan.  It's always good to ask about your plan.  They do provide nationwide coverage.