What is Medicare?

Medicare is a national health insurance program that is levied on people 65 years of age and older and people with certain disabilities. You or your spouse has worked full-time for at least 10 years in your lifetime. You may be eligible for free Medicare Part A (hospital insurance). Medicare Part B (health insurance) is available at a monthly rate set annually by Congress (121.80 for personal income of 85000.00 or less in 2016). Some seniors are also eligible. The free portion of health insurance based on income and wealth level (Part B). For more information, contact Best Medicare plans in Arizona services office for Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB), Medicare Low Income Beneficiaries (SLMB), and Qualified Individual Programs.

How does Medicare work?

Medicare is actually two separate types of insurance: hospital and medical. It is not intended to cover all your medical expenses. Hospital insurance (Part A of Medicare) covers treatment and surgical procedures performed in a hospital. It also covers hospice, home health, and limited skilled nursing care. Health insurance (Part B of Medicare) pays a portion of the doctor’s costs. Outpatient care medical equipment and laboratory and diagnostic testing. Under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage) are also available through private insurance companies.

How do I get Medicare?

If you received Social Security benefits before age 65, you will automatically receive a Medicare enrollment reminder before your 65th birthday. , or if you do not receive a notice of enrollment in Medicare, you should contact the nearest Social Security office for information. You can apply for Medicare starting 3 months before the month of your birthday and within 7 months. It is best to apply within 3 months prior to your 65th birthday. Coverage begins on the first day of the month you were born. Subscribing later will delay the start of your benefits. You can also apply for Medicare from January 1 to March 31 each year after your 65th birthday. Coverage begins on July 1 of the year of enrollment. You will also pay an additional 10% fee on your Part B premium for the months you qualify but do not enroll.

What if I keep working? If you continue to work after age 65 or your spouse is working, and the Employer Group Health Insurance Plan (EGHP) will apply. You can defer your Medicare Part B enrollment. Enrollment in Medicare Part B begins timely open enrollment for Medicare replenishment. The Penalty for Late Enrollment in Protected Part B does not apply if you or your spouse is currently covered by the EGHP because of your employment. If you work after age 65, you can apply for Medicare Part B any time before you retire. However, if you do not want to pay premiums, you must apply within eight months of your official retirement. Even if your employer provides health insurance for retirement. When you retire, you should enroll in Medicare Part A, and possibly Medicare Part B. Most retirement plans assume you are covered by Medicare and do not pay for Medicare-covered services. Veterans may be eligible for special medical programs. However, eligibility and benefits are very limited and subject to change. The Department of Veterans Affairs recommends that veterans apply for both Medicare Parts A and B to ensure adequate medical coverage.

What are the costs not covered by Medicare? Medicare pays for your medical bills and only a portion of your medical bills. As with many private insurance plans, the government expects the beneficiary to pay a portion of the cost. Medicare Parts A and B have deductibles and insurance requirements. The 2016 deductible is 1288.00 per benefit period. The deductible for Part A is 166.00 per year. Private insurance may cover all or part of these out-of-pocket expenses. These insurance plans are called Medicare Supplements (also called Med Sup plans or Medigap).