What is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that helps Americans that have reached the age of 65 along with certain younger people with certain disabilities. There are four separate layers to Medicare, each of which has its own set of rules and regulations that you will have to follow in order to take advantage of its benefits. For many Americans, getting everything needed to qualify for all eligible benefits in order can be a huge challenge.
Getting all the aid and assistance available to you in healthcare and long-term care is a hard road to navigate for most, if not all, people. The Medicare process can be confusing, and making sure you are sufficiently covered for all of your needs can be a long and disheartening process. We work to make the whole process as simple as possible for you— it’s our job.
How do you qualify for Medicare?
The main categories for Medicare qualification are being at least 65 years old or disabled. With these qualifications in mind, there are other stipulations you must keep in mind when applying for Medicare.
If you are 65 or older:
- You must be a US citizen, or a permanent legal resident with a green card who has lived in the States for at least five years.
- If you may also be a green card holder who has been married to a fully insured US citizen or green card holder for at least one year.
If you are disabled:
You must qualify for Social Security disability benefits:
- In most cases you must wait for two years before qualifying for Medicare.
- You must have 25 months of receiving disability benefits (must be 25 consecutive months.)
Depending on the type of and severity of your disability, the time in which you may start receiving aid is subject to change.
Get in contact with us and we can help you navigate the more nuanced aspects of meeting these qualifications. You can also go to Medicare.gov to preliminarily calculate your potential premium and eligibility.
What are the four parts of Medicare?
Part A: Hospital Insurance
If you are going to be in need of a hospital stay, a stay in a nursing facility, or hospice care this is a component of Medicare that you need to make sure you qualify for and have gone through the necessary process to get the benefits that you are entitled to.
Part B: Medical Insurance
This component of the Medicare program covers certain (and we can help you navigate which) doctors’ services, outpatient care, preventative services, and medical supplies needed to keep you healthy.
Part C: Medicare Advantage Plans
This part of the Medicare program is the integration of the private insurance companies to help provide you with the necessities that are part of parts A and B. Medicare Advantage Plans include Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Preferred Provider Organizations, Health Maintenance Organizations, Specials Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan most of the fees associated with care are paid through it and not through the aforementioned parts of the Medicare program.
Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage
The fourth part of the Medicare program covers Americans’ prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. Often times Medicare Advantage Plans could also offer prescription drug coverage to an extent. The cost of prescriptions can be a huge burden as you age, and we want to help make sure you know how to take advantage of everything you are entitled to that helps with these economic burdens.
Medicare Can Help You Prevent And Predict Health Problems
Medicare is a service that makes healthcare more accessible to elderly Americans. Here are a few of the services that it provides:
- No copays: Retired Americans are entitled to preventative testing and services when they age beyond 65 years and are signed up for Medicare. Some screenings come with absolutely no out of pocket costs.
- A free preliminary preventative visit: A one-time doctor’s office appointment that consists of a full review of your medical history called the “welcome to Medicare visit.”
- Annual Wellness Exams: With Medicare, an annual general exam is provided at no cost to the recipient. Generally, it includes routine measurements, review of medications, and personalized health advice.
- Cardiovascular Screening: Keeping track of your cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels are something that provided through Medicare and is important for everyone over 65 to do.
- Mental Health Screenings: Medicare helps provide you with mental health and depression screening.
- Diabetes Screening: Medicare covers two blood screenings per year to detect diabetes in those at risk for the disease.
There are many other benefits that come with Medicare, if you reach out to us at Rheinhardt and Bray we will help guide you through the process to prevent and monitor any health issues that come with aging.