What is Medicare and who is eligible for Medicare coverage?

Medicare is a Federal Health Insurance program for Seniors who are 65 years of age or older, certain young people with disabilities and people with end stage renal disease (ESRD). End Stage Renal Disease or ESRD is permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or kidney transplant.

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What are the Different Parts of Medicare and what do they cover?

Medicare coverage can be divided into four parts, Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D. However it is important to understand the difference between the Original Medicare Coverage, Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage Plans to determine the best option based upon your situation before making a selection.

Medicare Part A: Can also simply be called Hospital Insurance. Medicare Part A covers Inpatient Hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health services. Medicare Part A is free of cost for most people. If have earned 40 credits by contributing towards Medicare Tax, Medicare Part A is free of cost. People with earned credits between 30 and 39 can purchase Medicare Part A for 299.99 per month in 2022. For people with less than 30 credits, they could purchase Medicare Part A coverage for 499.00 per month in 2022.

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Medicare Part B: Medicare Part B can also be called Medical Insurance. It covers certain doctor's services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive services. Most people pay the standard Part B premium amount. In 2022, the Standard Part B Premium amount is 170.10. If the Modified Adjusted Gross Income as reported on the IRS tax return from 2 years ago is above a certain amount, you would pay an additional Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) in addition to the standard monthly premium. IRMAA is an extra charge added to your premium.

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Medicare Part C: Medicare Part C Coverage is also known as Medicare Advantage coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by Private Health Insurance companies. Its an alternative to Medicare Part A and Part B and typically combines coverages like a Standard Individual Health Insurance Plan. Part C Medicare plans are required to provide the same coverage as the Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Some Medicare Advantage plans also provide prescription drug coverage, and potentially dental, vision and hearing coverage. The plan benefits and cost could vary from carrier to carrier, so it is very important to understand the plan benefits before switching. Anyone that is eligible for a Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B plan is eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan in their area. Medicare Advantage plans are regulated by Medicare.

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Medicare Part D: Medicare Part D coverage is also known as Prescription Drug Coverage. Medicare Part D coverage helps cover the cost of prescription drugs including the cost of many recommended shots or vaccines. To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a medicare approved plan that offers drug coverage. These include Medicare drug plans and Medicare Advantage Plans with drug coverage. Each plan varies in cost and cover specific drugs, however all eligible plans must meet a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. Medicare drug coverage include name brand and generic drugs. Different plans vary on the types of drugs they cover and have variable costs depending upon the chosen plan.

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