Medicare can be disconcerting, especially when it combines complex health problems and the need for medical assistance such as oxygen or hospital beds. Although it is difficult to cross the insurance puzzle, it is estimated that 47.5 million persons get this policy in 2010, which is above one-sixth of the country’s population.
Here is a brief overview and some answers to some common questions about Medicare and home health care.
- Who qualifies?
Medicare is a national health insurance program provided by the U.S. government for those who are:
– 65 years and over
– Children under 65 with certain disabilities.
– Diagnosed with end stage renal disease (ESRD), a form of permanent renal failure that requires dialysis or kidney transplantation.
- What types of services does Medicare cover?
Medicare has four different coverage sections: Part A, B, C and D. “Original Medicare” consists of Parts A and B, while Part C is known as the “Medicare Advantage Plan.” Now, these 4 parts are briefly summarized:
– Medicare Part A: Hospital insurance
* Part A covers hospital care, as well as medical care in specialized nursing centers, home health care and hospices.
– Medicare Part B: medical insurance
* Part B covers visits to the doctor and visits to other health professionals. In addition, Part B covers outpatient hospital care, durable medical equipment (such as intravenous infusion devices) and home health services. Part B also covers specific types of preventive services, such as obtaining certain vaccines.
– Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage
* Part C is a combination of health insurance options purchased from some other private insurance firms with Medicare approval. Part C also includes Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) and can be adapted to include additional benefits at an additional cost.
– Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage
* Part D covers prescription drugs approved by Medicare and may reduce the cost of other drugs. Similar to Part C, Medicare-approved private insurance companies also administer Part D.
- Why should I choose between Medicare plans?
Choosing “Original Medicare” (Parts A and B) involves paying the monthly Part B premiums and may require additional insurance to pay coinsurance and deductibles to consult with doctors, hospitals and other providers that accept Medicare. If you need prescription drug coverage, you must pay a monthly premium to join the Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
The “Medicare Advantage Plan” (Part C, which covers Parts A and B), also requires payment of monthly premiums, in addition to the Part B premium, and a copayment for doctors in plans, hospitals. If prescription drugs are not covered by your supplemental coverage, you can join the Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).