Medicare is a health insurance program that is managed by the federal government. This program is primarily designed to ensure that elderly people in the United States have medical coverage, and the program is paid for by the federal government.
So, who can apply for Medicare? Well in order to be eligible for Medicare, you have to 65 years or older; you have to suffering from a permanent disability; or you have to have a chronic kidney disease. In addition, to be eligible for Medicare, either you or your spouse should have worked for 10 years with an employer that had Medicare coverage.
Medicare has four parts and each part pays for a different healthcare service. Part A is the medical insurance; Part B is for paying to doctors and other healthcare services; Part C allows you receive the benefits of Part A, B and D through a private plan like HMO; and Part D is for getting prescription drugs.
If you are 65 years or older and you qualify for Medicare, you do not pay for Part A of the Medicare if you are receiving Social Security. Even those who are under 65, and have a permanent disability, do not have to pay for Part A as long as they have been receiving Social Security for 24 consecutive months.
You have to pay for Part B, which was $93.50 a month for 2007 and this amount is directly deducted from your Social Security check. In 2008, Medicare Part B will cost $96.40 a month and it is higher for people whose annual incomes are more than $82,000 or $164,000 combined with their spouses. In addition, when you become eligible for Medicare and do not enroll for it, you will have to a 10 percent higher premium. In order to receive Part B benefits, you have to pay annual in order to get the coverage.
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