Table of Contents
What is Medicare?
Once you turn 65 you’ll need to decide if you’re going to use Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and a Medicare Supplement Insurance Policy, Medicare Advantage plus a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy, or just get one or the other but not a include a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy.
Keep in mind, it’s highly unlikely that Original Medicare nor Medicare Advantage will cover all of your medical costs, so unless you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy, you could be stuck with big expenses that you’ll need to cover out of pocket.
When you qualify for Medicare, it’s usually Medicare Part A and Part B that you’re first enrolled in. Medicare Part A and Part B make up what’s commonly known as Original Medicare.
Medicare Part A generally helps pay your costs as a hospital patient.
Medicare Part B may help pay for doctor visits, preventive services, lab tests, medical equipment and supplies, and more.
Medicare eligibility begins when you’re 65 years old. Technically you can initially apply for it when you’re within 3 months of turning 65, and then that application period extends to 3 months after you turn 65. So, including the month you turn 65, there’s a 7 month initial application window. And yes, you do have to apply for it. After you’re approved, most people typically qualify for what’s know as Original Medicare, or Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part A generally helps pay your hospital costs associated you’re a stay for care.
Medicare Part B generally helps pay for more non-emergent medical situations including doctors visits, preventive health services, certain lab tests, medical equipment and supplies needed for particular conditions, and possibly other things.
What is Medicare Part A?
Medicare Part A is known as hospital insurance. Part A generally covers inpatient hospital stays, certain home health care related services, skilled nursing care, and hospice care. The way it works is Medicare Part A will pay most of the costs associated with the care, but you will typically have to pay a deductible, and a copayment or coinsurance. The specific plan you get will indicate the details of how it all works.
Do You Have to Pay a Part A Premium?
The general answer to that is no. Most people do not pay a monthly or yearly premium for Medicare Part A. But there are certain situations where you may have to. For example, if you worked at least ten years and were paying income taxes, then you won’t have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A. If you worked for fewer than 7.5 years, then as of 2021 you will general have to pay $471 per month in premium. If you worked more than 7.5 years, but less than 10 years, then as of 2021 your premium is $259. So basically the way it works is whether you pay a premium or not, and how much you pay, are depending on how long you’ve been working and paying taxes. We all fund Medicare through out taxes, so in a sense you get out of it what you pay into it.
What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B is known as medical insurance that can be thought of similarly to what your ‘regular health insurance’ pays for while you’re working and under the age of 65. The following are examples of items and services it covers:
How Much Will You Pay For Medicare Part B?
In most cases you will pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for each item or service. A deductible may also apply. So again, it’s similar to how your private or regular health insurance works, whether it’s through Aetna, United HealthCare, or many of the other larger health insurance organizations.