Perhaps the only thing more common than this term is how frequently it is misunderstood. One such reason is that it is usually discussed alongside another program called Medicaid. There are only two letters that are different between both words. Add in the idea that most people, especially when they are younger, don’t think about Medicare because they don’t use it.
If you receive a paycheck, then you are paying into Medicare right now. On your pay stub, there is a place for FICA. That stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Because of payroll taxes, 1.45% of your pay is going towards Medicare.
Medicare: A General Overview
Medicare is a medical insurance program that is run by our government. Private companies also offer plans, but they have to be approved by Medicare (more on that in a moment). Medicare was meant to bridge the gap between the need for high-quality health care and people’s inability to pay for it—especially as medical costs continue to increase.
These are the people who are eligible for Medicare:
- People who are 65 or older
- Disabled people who are under 65 but are receiving Social Security benefits
- Patients with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
- Patients with end-stage renal disease who are on dialysis or require a kidney transplant
The Four Different Parts
Medicare is laid out in four different parts. These are identified as Parts A through D. Parts A and B are known as Original Medicare, Part C is the Medicare Advantage, and Part D pertains to prescription drug coverage.
Part A is hospital insurance, and Part B is medical insurance. Granted, you are likely wondering how these two things are different. Think of hospital insurance as in-patient facilities like nursing homes and, of course, hospitals. Hospice would also fall under Part A. Your routine doctor trips, checkups, and preventive care visits fall under medical insurance.
Part C is called the Medicare Advantage, and this is what we talked about earlier. It is offered through private companies approved by Medicare. It packages Part A, Part B, and usually Part D together.
Lastly, Part D can be a standalone plan for prescription drug medication or can be added to the Original Medicare coverage. One of the aspects of this that you need to pay attention to is what medications it covers.
Each Medicare Prescription Drug Care Plan comes with a list that states which drugs it covers. You likely have medications you take regularly so ensure these are listed out. Unfortunately, the lists can change. When this happens, you will be notified so that you can alter your plan to fit your medical needs.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you are someone who has questions regarding your legal rights as they pertain to Medicare, J. Kevin, P.C. is here to help you when you need it the most. With more than 30 years of experience serving clients like you, we will become both your resource and your support. Contact us online or call us at 866-253-6994 to schedule a consultation today.