Since most Americans receive health insurance coverage from their jobs, many Americans lose their coverage when they retire. To prevent people from losing all access to health insurance, the government provides Medicare for people that qualify for and need it.
Medicare provides health insurance to people over the age of 65. To receive benefits, you must have entered the United States legally and have lived here for five years or more.
Medicare has two main parts. The first part, Medicare Part A, covers inpatient care. This includes hospital and nursing home stays, hospice and in some cases home health care. If you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes, which most Americans do, then you should not have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A. If you did not pay Medicare taxes you can more than likely still pay a monthly premium and receive coverage.
The second part is Medicare Part B which covers doctors’ visits and other outpatient services. There is a monthly premium most people pay to receive benefits.
There is also a Part C and D some people choose to purchase. Part C is called the Medicare Advantage Plan. If you buy this, you are automatically enrolled in Parts A and B and will receive additional services. Purchasing Part C allows you the option to purchase Part D, which provides some prescription drug coverage.
If you can’t afford to pay Medicare premiums, you can probably qualify for assistance from the government. They can help you pay for your general medical care, such as doctors’ visits and hospital stays, and as well as your prescriptions.
While Medicare is far from perfect, it does provide a much-needed service to many Americans. In today’s world, going without health insurance at any age can be potentially devastating financially, so if you’re over the age of 65 and in need of health insurance, make sure you get the benefits to which you’re entitled.