Health insurance in general tends to be complicated and frustrating for many people to figure out. Unfortunately, Medicare isn’t often perceived to be that much different. Medicare isn’t a one size fits all health insurance plan, though it may seem that way without looking more closely. There are different parts to Medicare, and understanding them is essential to making sure you have the coverage you need.

Part A

An average of 10,000 people become eligible for Medicare every day. This means there are thousands of people who have to adjust to new coverage rules. In the case of Medicare Part A, you are automatically enrolled in it once you apply. Most people won’t have to pay a premium for this since you’ve likely been paying into the system via the Medicare tax. That doesn’t mean it’s a free service though. You’ll be hit with a predetermined deductible charge for your hospital stay. On the flip side, Part A covers the vast majority of hospital services, so it’s still likely to be far less than what you would otherwise end up paying.

Part B

Medicare Part B covers doctor and outpatient services. Doctor visits, labs, ambulance transportation, medical equipment, and diagnostic screenings are just some of the services covered. If you still have private insurance through a job or your spouse’s plan, you may want to consider hanging onto it for now and deferring Part B coverage. This part tends to be more expensive than Part A and includes a variety of charges. You’ll be charged a government-decided predetermined monthly premium ($148.50 in 2021), a yearly deductible, and 20% of the cost of services rendered.

Part D

Many elderly find themselves in need of prescription medications that can become quite costly to pay for out of their own pockets. That’s where Medicare Part D comes in. It’s important to note that this part is purchased from a private insurer and does not cover the entire cost of medications. As with all insurance policies, it’s important to carefully read what’s included. Different policies cover different lists of medications. Check the list your policy covers at each open enrollment period to make sure yours are still covered.

Different parts of Medicare cover different services. Part A covers hospital expenses, Part B covers doctor and outpatient services, while Part D covers prescription drugs. Upon becoming eligible for Medicare coverage, it is essential to have an understanding of its different parts so you can select the coverage that will be right for you.

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