Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is given to Americans who are aged 65 years or older. Even people who are disabled or have end-stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare.
The Original Medicare is available throughout the nation and it is a fee-for-service plan that is regulated and managed by the federal government.
Although Medicare pays for many healthcare services and supplies, not all healthcare services are covered by it.
Most of us make Medicare insurance payments when we are young with the view of having adequate healthcare as we retire and grow older. In order to be eligible for Medicare, you have to enroll for it 3 months before your 65th birthday. If you enroll late, then you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
Medicare has four parts to it which pay for different types of healthcare services. Part A is medical insurance; Part B is for making payments to doctors and related healthcare services; Part C gives you the choice of receiving benefits of Medicare A, B and D through private health plan like HMO; and Part D is for prescription drugs. The Part C of Medicare is known as Medicare Advantage.
Most of us do not pay premiums for Part A of Medicare because we have already paid for it via payroll taxes when we were working. However, we have to pay premiums for Part B of Medicare, which was $93.50 per month in 2007. However, people who have annual incomes of more than $80,000 pay more for Part B.You will have to pay the premium for Part B when you decide to enroll. If you are past your first eligibility for Medicare, then you have to wait for the annual enrollment period, which is usually from November 15 to December 31, to be eligible for Medicare prescription drug coverage.
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