What Is Medicare?
Understand the Medicare basics from Original Medicare and beyond
Introduction to Medicare
Medicare is the national health insurance program that is offered to individuals 65 and older and some people under 65 who have specific disabilities.
Created in 1965, Medicare started with just two parts – Part A and Part B, also referred to as Original Medicare. Later on, additional parts – Part C and Part D – were added as the needs of Medicare beneficiaries changed.
What Are the Different Parts of Medicare?
Original Medicare consists of Parts A and B. These are sponsored by the government.
It is important to understand that Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover all of your medical expenses. Because of this, other Medicare plans exist to help provide additional coverage for those who need it.
Part C, or Medicare Advantage, plans are private health plans. This Medicare insurance plan includes coverage for everything Parts A and B cover, and sometimes Part D, depending on the plan.
Part D, or Prescription Drug Coverage, plans are also private health plans. They offer coverage for prescription drug costs.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans help pay some costs not covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B. Plans are private health plans as well.
What Does Original Medicare (Parts A and B) Cover?
Medicare Part A covers inpatient care, which includes:
Skilled nursing facility care
Short-term nursing home care
Home healthcare services*
*In limited circumstances
Medicare Part B covers many outpatient services and supplies, which includes:
Some preventive care
Durable medical equipment (DME)
What Does Original Medicare Cost?
Original Medicare helps pay for many healthcare services and expenses but shares the cost of care through deductibles, copayments (copays) and coinsurance. Original Medicare Part A and Part B have their own separate costs associated with each part. Costs vary from person to person.
Your Original Medicare (Parts A and B) costs may include:
Deductible - The amount you pay before Original Medicare begins to pay its share of the cost.
Copay - A flat dollar amount (for example, $10) you pay each time you receive care.
Coinsurance - A percentage (for example, 10%) you pay for your care after you meet your deductible.
Premium - A fixed, monthly amount you pay for your Original Medicare plan coverage. Most people will only have a premium for Part B.
Original Medicare Doesn’t Cover Everything
That’s why many people choose to buy additional coverage to help pay for certain services and expenses. Florida Blue Medicare offers many different Medicare plans that can help you get the coverage you need.
What Does Aging into Medicare Look Like?
Knowing when and how to sign up for Medicare can help you get through enrollment with ease. Whether you’re under 65, turning 65 today, or working past 65, we can help you navigate your Medicare choices every step of the way.
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