MEDICARE has helped millions of people throughout the United States.
The program ensures that people get health insurance and are able to take care of themselves.
What is Medicare?
Medicare, not to be confused with Medicaid, is a national federal health insurance program.
The program began in 1965 under the Social Security Administration and has since been administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
While the program is designed for people 65 and over, those who are younger can qualify if they have certain disabilities.
Those who have End-Stage Renal Disease also qualify no matter what age.
What are the parts of Medicare?
Medicare has three parts.
According to the Medicare website, those part include:
- Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care
- Medicare Part B, which covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services
- Medicare Part D, which covers the cost of prescription drugs as well as shots/vaccines
For those that paid for Medicare taxes over the years, Medicare Part A does not typically require a monthly premium.
If you do not qualify for the premium-free Medicare Part A, you can also pay for it monthly and the price can be anywhere between $252-$458 per month according to the website.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Medicare?
Like most things, there are pros and cons.
For Medicare, some of the advantages include:
- It provides coverage for those who typically could not afford it
- The cost is low compared to other health insurance policies
- Provides access to multiple prescriptions that would not have been previously available to Americans
Some of the disadvantages include:
- Medicare costs the federal government almost 18% of their overall budget
- Hospital stays can still cost users a lot of money
- The older you are, the more you might have to pay upon enrolling
- Medicare costs tax payers a lot of money
Many recommend you do your research prior to enrolling in programs so Americans understand their health coverage.
How do I enroll in Medicare?
For those looking to enroll in the program, there are a few ways to go about it.
There are paper enrollment forms that can printed out or mailed to users to fill out and send in.
Another way is by calling them at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
The Medicare website urges users not to give personal information to plan callers as no one should call you without your permission.