In 1965, the American government decided to come up with a plan that will help seniors of 65 years old and older to enjoy coverage in the healthcare domain. In other words, if you are 65 years old or above and you have a health issue, Medicare will help you with the financial load that comes along, or, at least, with a part of it, depending on the plan you will choose. In 1972, the Medicare plan was modified to a certain degree so that young people who suffered from permanent disabilities to enjoy the support offered by the plan. Of course, these cases are analyzed and only the ones that meet the requirements will be accepted into the program. The Medicare plan has four parts, A, B, C, and D, each of them taking care of a certain sector and being funded in a different manner.
In order to be part of the Medicare plan, you will have to sign up and choose one of the previously mentioned plans, whichever you consider most suitable in your case. Just do have in mind that each part of Medicare has costs as well, besides the benefits it offers. So, you will have to cover these costs, being eligible to take advantage of the benefits of this plan once you will have 65 years old. In other words, it is another aspect you need to consider for your retirement plan. The truth is that it is recommended to contribute to a healthcare-related plan while you are young and capable of working because it may turn out extremely useful if you get ill at an older age.
If you are interested in Medicare, then you need to know that enrollment is possible only when you are close to turning 65 years old. More precisely, you can subscribe to a Medicare plan three months before reaching the age of 65, on your birthday month, and three months after your birthday. These 7 months are known as the Initial Enrollment Period. So, make sure you apply during this period if you want to be considered eligible. It is recommended to subscribe in the three months prior to your birthday because once you turn 65, the services provided by Medicare will begin on the very first day you have 65 years old. If you miss doing this, then the services will become available three months after your subscription, as long as you do it in the first three months after your birthday.
But, if you forget to get enrolled during the Initial Period, don’t fret, as you still have the General Enrollment Period. This takes place between the 1st of January and 31st of March of every year. If you subscribe to Medicare during this period, then your plan will become active starting on the 1st of July only and there are chances for you to have to pay higher premiums. Also, for special situations and particular requirements, there’s the possibility to apply during the Special Enrollment Period. If your case meets the requirements of Medicare, then your plan will become available in one month after sending your completed application to Social Services.
Why choose Medicare? Well, with the help of Medicare copay, for example, you will be able to get the needed medical services, treatments, and everything else you will need if you get sick or dealing with a health problem. Now, you probably wonder how Medicare services are funded. Because when we work we contribute with 1.45% from our revenues to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and our employees pay an additional 1.45% in the same direction, all this money goes into Medicare through Social Security Administration. Thus, you enjoy a whole 2.9% invested in Medicare. Just, do have in mind that if you are working on your own and you are, therefore, self-employed, you will have to cover the entire 2.9% on your own. Still, some of the costs involving the use of Medicare could be billed to you, depending on the plan you choose and medical services you require.
Having said all these, let us take a closer look at each of Medicare’s plans and see what benefits, and costs, they offer. Medicare Part A, which is considered one of the basics, will offer the support you need in case you will require hospitalization. This part of Medicare generates no costs, so you can consider it free, the only requirement being to have contributed to Social Services for at least 10 years. Medicare Part B will take care of visits to the doctor’s office and other expenses, as physical therapy and medical equipment, if the case. It also includes screenings to prevent the occurrence of some diseases, such as diabetes, glaucoma, and certain cancers. For this particular plan, there is a monthly premium that has to be covered. In 2017, the basic premium for Part B was around $120, but it can be more depending on your yearly gross income or if you and your spouse file together for Medicare, a situation in which your incomes will be joint.
Medicare Part A and B are supported by the government through its healthcare providers, but if you opt for Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is provided by private healthcare providers that have contracts with Medicare. According to the law, Part C must provide at least the healthcare services offered by Part A and B, but they do differ according to the case. So, some may offer more than what A and B are offering, while others may offer more of what A provides and less of the B plan and the other way around. So, it is worth checking what Medicare Advantage is actually offering, as not all of them covers prescription drugs, for example. Finally, there is Medicare Part D, which was specially created to cover prescription drugs. You can add this part to your original Medicare plan, to some Medicare plans that involve costs, to some plans with Private-Fee-For-Service, and to medical savings account plans. Just do know that plan D is a separate document that you get from a private insurance provider. If you opt for it, you will have to pay a monthly premium, as a general rule, and may get some annual deductibles, which usually don’t exceed a few hundreds of dollars. Also, this plan will cover only the first $3,310 spent on drugs per year. If that’s enough for you, then you’re okay, but if not, you will have to pay for the remaining costs out of your pocket.
So, as you can see, with Medicare, you will be able to get medical services according to your needs. While opting for Part A seems more than obvious, choosing the rest of the plans remains your choice only, depending on the costs you can withstand out of your budget per month. Whether you will enjoy Medicare copay or have medical services entirely covered by your plan, every little help counts. It always best to have at least a part of your healthcare services covered because, as we all know, old age comes along with a variety of health problems, unfortunately. This is why it is reassuring to have a safety plan in handy, just in case you need it. Just do take the time to take a good look at all your options, so you can choose the one that will suit you best. For this, it would be ideal to start in a timely manner, so by the time you turn 65, your chosen plan or plans will start working for you.
We all know that medical services are expensive, so why worry whether you will afford them or not. Medicare and its Medicare copay system were created precisely out of the desire to help people access quality and affordable medical services. So, because health and finances are two rather sensitive parts of our lives, it is worth making the decisions that will protect both of them in the best way possible. This is why since its appearance, millions of Americans became members of the Medicare plan and enjoyed the best medical services available in the US. Even if you are nowhere near the age of 65, it is still worth understanding how Medicare works and get into more details concerning the plans it has to offer. So, when the right time will come, you will know what to choose. Of course, don’t hesitate to revise what the plans are offering by the time you will be close to 65 years old, as some details concerning the plans may be subjected to changes. It is really not worth managing all the costs of the medical services you need when you can enjoy the Medicare copay system, plus the free medical services this healthcare plan offers.
Another aspect you need to consider is the Medigap or Medicare Supplement, which is an additional insurance policy that will cover the parts Medicare doesn’t. You see, while Medicare offers a lot, there are certain services that may be missing. Thus, as a precaution method, people will opt for an additional insurance policy. This will be provided, of course, by a private insurance provider. This policy will also cover the expenses generated by your Medicare plan, like annual deductibles and co-pays. Still, if you opted for Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage, then having this policy won’t help as it won’t cover it. Also, if you plan to pass to Medicare Advantage and you already have Medigap, then it would be recommended to let Medigap go, as it won’t bring any benefits.
There are many different plans one can consider, reconsider, apply for and drop during any time of your life, but what you can’t do is compromise on a medical plan during any point of your life. No matter which option you choose, or which healthcare provider suits you best, as long as you have a trustworthy medical plan to ensure you’re taken care of if anything does happen to you, such as an accident, illness, having to go to your doctor on a regular basis, getting medical tests done or being cared for in the case of an emergency, you’ll be just fine.
What is Medicare exactly?
Medicare is a plan, often referred to as a medical plan, that covers the majority of the cost of hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medication, etc. Some plans even include preventative care to its list of services.
What does a Medicare plan cover?
A typical Medicare plan will cover some sort of hospital plan if the any given hospital plan is not covered by medical insurance. These plans are also considered as an alternative to other types of medical coverage that are offered by medical private insurance companies. These include many different premiums to choose from, as well as some restrictions in some cases.
How much does it cost and is it worth it?
If you work for a company, your employer might pay an average of 1,45% of your wages for your Medicare plan. If self-employed, however, you might end up paying 2,9% of your income. Depending on your salary and any additional income, the more you earn, the more you’ll contribute to some Medicare plans.
There are two types of Medicare plans which are referred to Part A and Part B. While the first plan doesn’t require you to pay a premium, Part B could require you to pay between $130 or more depending on your income. If you’re retired, you’ll also have to pay a higher premium and while this might seem a tad unfair, the fact is that the older you get, the more you’re prone to use your Medicare Plan. The amount you do pay, however, also depends on whether or not your income was above an average amount of $85,000.
Additional costs that must be paid out of your own pocket
Like with anything else, fees tend to rise for any type of premium annually. Be sure to check whether your Medicare plan has any additional costs or annual increases in fees before you choose a plan. Also, if ever you do have to stay in the hospital for more than 60 days, some Medicare plans will require you to pay the additional costs and will not be able to cover you for the entire hospital stay.
If you’re a young adult, chances are you haven’t chosen a health care plan or any other type of medical cover to back you up in case of an emergency or to simply enjoy the benefits that many medical insurance plans have to offer you. Perhaps you feel like you’re a young individual and you really don’t need one yet, or that nothing could possibly happen to you in your 20’s, or whatever the case may be.
Truth is, anything could happen at any time and once you’re out in the world, living on your own, you need to at least have medical insurance, before you get anything else.
How to Choose the Right Plan for You
In order to choose the right medical insurance plan, there are some factors you need to consider. If you skip these factors or you do not consider certain basic questions, you’ll have a harder time choosing which plan is right for you, as well as not know exactly what you’re buying in to.
Consider Fundamentals of Medical Coverage
The number one thing you have to think about and conclude is the type of coverage you’re looking at. What does each plan have to offer, and does it fit exactly what you’re looking for?
If you’re worried about a medical plan being bogus or not fulfilling or not keeping to their word as per what they have to offer before you accepted the plan, be sure to check whether the coverage pan qualifies under the general Affordable Care Act in the U.S. which will ensure that the plan offers all the minimum essential coverage (MEC). It’s also a good idea to check with your insurance broker whether or not the coverage plan offers the basic MEC. Being covered with MEC will avoid any ACA penalties, as well as provide the minimum value that will cover all the fundamentals of a basic medical plan.
Be Informed About Deductibles and Out-of-Pocket Maximums
After reviewing your premium, there will be two other amounts that will grab your attention. These include the deductible amount, as well as the out-of-pocket maximum amount. Although the premium contribution represents an up-front cost, these two totals will assist with the approximate cost total cost. Increases for these amounts have been increased more than expected in the last couple of years.
A Health Savings Account
Due to the added increases in both deductible and advent of high-deductible medical plans, a lot of businesses now offers their employees to fund their own medical expenses with a health savings account. These accounts include special tax treatments that are designed to assist employees that struggle to pay for their medical care. Some employers even go as far as helping their employees settle their cost or contribute to their medical plan.
Which Premium Should You Choose?
The first thing you have to consider when choosing a premium is the cost and whether you’re able to afford it monthly. These costs will be available to both the employee and employer and will be shared with the fact that most employers will contribute to the plan. Be sure to choose a plan that is best suited to your current and future needs.
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