2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
A large number of people depend on the numerous Medicare programs to cater for their future medical costs especially as a number of situations may arise when old age starts to kick in. Surprisingly, it is not uncommon to find that quite a number of these very same people are unaware of any other Medicare programs, save for the ones that they are on. However, as Medicare programs are reviewed each year and adjusted according to inflation rate, it is crucial that one knows and understands the different Medicare Programs.
Starting from the basics, Medicare is a federally funded health insurance program that is meant for all persons under the Social Security program. To be eligible for any of the Medicare programs, one has to be over 65 years of age. Also, one may qualify for Medicare programs if they have a continuous need for kidney dialysis due to permanent renal failure.
There are four different programs offered under the Medicare system. These programs are often called parts and are labeled by different letters of the alphabet, from A to D. It should be noted that the different programs may have different eligibility requirements from the other programs. Basically, part A refers to hospital insurance. This program is free for all workers who have earned their entitled work hours/quarters as dictated by their profession.
Part B covers the required doctor visits, commonly known as medical insurance. It is worth noting that every person who enrolls in this part has to pay a monthly premium so as to obtain coverage under the plan. Part C can be described as the optional Medicare program. Often referred to as Medicare Advantage, the program is more of a managed health care plan that requires one to be enrolled in both part A and B to receive the benefits. In addition, one will also be required to pay a monthly premium if they would like to be enrolled into the program.
The last of the Medicare programs is Part D which relates to the prescriptions drug program. This program covers all drug prescriptions that are required by Medicare covered patients. It is worth noting that this program is very reasonable, usually less than $30 per month, and is for all the Medicare beneficiaries regardless of which program they are enrolled in. Some individuals are even eligible to get help in paying the premiums
Aside from the main Medicare programs listed above, one may find subsidiary programs such as the Medicare Savings program. This program helps those who show financial need in covering some of the Medicare expenses. Moreover, the program helps in catering for deductibles, as well as co-insurance payments for the different Medicare programs. To qualify for this program, one has to pass the income and asset tests as will be conducted by officials of the Medicare program.
Unfortunately Medicare only pays around 80% of most medical bills, so to be totally covered many people purchase a medicare supplement policy called medigap which will pay the cost Medicare doesn't cover.
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