Types of Medicare Plans for Seniors
What is Medicare and are there different types of Medicare plans? Learn about Medicare and different types of Medicare advantage plans in this helpful guide.
Medicare is a health insurance plan available for seniors over 65. This is a government-funded health insurance plan that helps seniors and younger people with disabilities, end-stage renal disease, and suffer from ALS. There are various types of Medicare plans and different types of Medicare advantage plans. There are basic plans and supplemental plans to cover the services left by the basic plans. The type of Medicare you choose depends on multiple factors.
Factors of Choosing Medicare Plan
You need to consider the following things when deciding which Medicare plan is right for you:
Your monthly income:
Which plan you go for and if you get an advantage plan depends primarily on your monthly income. Since you have to pay a monthly premium, it has to fit into your budget. You will have to skip out on extra coverage if you cannot afford it.
Your health needs
Do you have to take medications regularly or any specialized medicine? If you do, you are better off getting Medicare plan D or Drug coverage as a supplement to your Medicare. In the same way, you have to look into different Medicare programs to see which one meets your need the most.
Whether you already have other insurance
If you have other insurance, both will become your payer for your health expenses. For example, you are covered by your spouse's work-based or group insurance. The situation will decide which one will pay first up to their limit, and the other shall pay the remaining amount. You may get by with just Medicare and no supplemental programs if you have other insurance.
Types of Medicare and Medicare advantage plans.
There is basic Medicare, and then there are Medicare advantage plans. Basic or original Medicare has different parts. There is part A, part B, part D, and Medigap. Medicare Advantage, also known as plan C, is a plan offered by a private company working in conjunction with Medicare. They provide their own benefits along with plan A and Plan B coverage. Let's go over each one for your convenience.
Medicare part A is hospital insurance. It covers all inpatient and hospitalization charges. This includes any hospital stays, treatments, and surgeries. If you have paid Medicare taxes while working for a specific number of years, ten to be exact, and over 65, you do not have to pay a premium for part A.
If you are getting Medicare part A for some particular reason before turning 65, you also do not have to pay a premium for part A. You have to pay a $1556 deductible first per benefit period, and then Medicare starts to pay. After 150 days of inpatient stay, you start paying all inpatient stay costs.
Part B is basic medical insurance. It covers things like doctor visits, at-home care, out-patient care, durable medical equipment, and preventative measures like yearly wellness visits, screens, X-rays, tests, etc. You have to pay $170.10 every month. You have to pay more if you file as an individual taxpayer and earn more than $91,000 or more than 182,000 as a joint taxpayer with your spouse.
Part D is a medical drug coverage plan. It is offered by private companies that work under rules set by Medicare. You can get it as a supplement to your Original Medicare or as part of a Medicare advantage plan. The premium you are charged depends on the plan you join, and prices can keep changing. A deductible must be paid before Medicare starts paying. The amount is based on your case.
Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap)
Medigap is a supplemental insurance plan offered by private companies to assist in paying for your Medicare. There are different plans for different states named after different letters. The letter plans are standardized and the same no matter which company offers them.
Medicare Advantage Plan or Part C
A Medicare Advantage Plan or part C is a medical insurance policy offered by a private company working under rules set by Medicare. It offers you Part A and Part B coverage and can include Part D. It also offers its own benefits. The company sets the premium that is charged. With a Medicare Advantage Plan, you get more coverage and freedom as the private companies are competitive and offer enticing perks and benefits of buying their policies.
In conclusion, whether you go for original Medicare alone, Original Medicare with Part D and Medigap, or a Medicare Advantage Plan depends on your income and requirements. If you cannot cover the costs of Medicare, you may qualify for extra help. Be warned that there are specific sign-up windows for these plans. You are charged a penalty that becomes part of your premium if you miss them.