Over the last 50 years, Medicare has made a difference in the lives of millions of Americans. From those over the age of 65 to citizens of all ages living with disabilities, this program has built a solid reputation for making healthcare available to a wide range of people who wouldn’t have it otherwise. Each year brings about new changes to the program, providing new coverage options but creating a great deal of confusion along the way.
Delving into the Intricacies of Medicare
This year’s reforms follow a long line of previous ones. With so many parts, plans and options available, understanding which ones you need can be a bit difficult. Further details are available via this website, but a brief description might be a good start.
- Parts A and B: Parts A and B are the original Medicare options. They cover hospital stays and medical care respectively. From basic doctor visits and outpatient surgeries to home healthcare and nursing facilities, these form the basic framework of the Medicare system and apply to preventative and reactive services alike.
- Part D: Prescription medications fall into Part D’s realm of coverage. This plan can be used on its own or combined with other Medicare options.
- Part C: This is a combination of Parts A and B designed to make both types of coverage easier to keep up with. Part D can also be added to the mix.
- Plans A through N: Available supplemental plans almost span the alphabet with a few exceptions. They’re designed to fill in the gaps left by Medicare’s basic components. Plan N picks up where Parts A and B fall short in many cases and offers considerable extra coverage for emergency room and doctor visits. Plan F is geared toward customized coverage whereas Plan K is designed for those who anticipate extended hospital stays or the need for hospice and other specialized care.
On top of these aspects, you have the option of Medicare Advantage Plans or Medigap policies. When it comes to making a choice, the possibilities may seem endless. They’re actually not, so don’t be intimidated by all the details. Consider which types of medical care you need most often, and work your way outward from there.