Understanding the ABCs of Medicare

Georgia residents who are age 65 or older often encounter challenges related to their estate plans or other long-term care planning issues. Many elders also have trouble understanding the various facets of Medicare, often because the programs change from year to year. In some situations, an older man or woman may suffer an incapacitated condition, necessitating support from a younger, healthier loved one to carry out long-term care plans.  

A brief review of the basic ABCs of the Medicare program can provide helpful information for elders or adult children who are doing their best to help their parents. Hospitalizations under in-patient status are what is mostly covered in Part A of the Medicare program. If a person is listed under observation as opposed to in-patient, Medicare may not cover the cost.  

Outpatient procedures, lab work, doctor visits and other medical care occurring outside of in-patient hospital status are typically covered in Part B. This is also where information regarding co-pays and deductibles can be found. These two parts are referred to as original or basic Medicare programs.  

Part C comes under Medicare Advantage, which also includes the first two parts. Part C is sold by commercial insurers. If drug coverage is a high priority, that is covered under Part D. It is possible to purchase a Part D program without being part of the Medicare Advantage plan. To determine whether a particular would be best filled by Medicare basic or Medicare Advantage, a Georgia elder or an adult child acting on behalf of a loved one can discuss the topic with an experienced long-term care planning attorney.        

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