While many Americans might have heard of Medicare Health Insurance, many might not fully understand how it works, exactly who it’s for, or what if they’re even eligable to receive Medicare benefits. The article below is meant to outline the basics to help give you a better understanding of Medicare.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed to help people who are 65 or older, young people with certain disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure). There are different “Parts” of Medicare to help with specific services:
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Medicare Part A handles inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, some home health care, and care in a skilled nursing facility.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
Medicare Part B covers certain doctors’ services, medical supplies, preventative services, and outpatient care.
Medicare Part C (Advantage Plans)
Medicare Part C is a type of plan that private companies can offer that work with the Medicare program to provide both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B in one package. Most Part C plans provide their own coverage and are not paid for under Original Medicare. Prescription drugs are usually covered by Medicare Part C plans.
Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)
Medicare Part D adds prescription drug coverage to original Medicare, some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans, some Medicare Cost Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. These plans are offered through private companies and insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare.
Many people who are already on Medicare might not fully understand what coverage they have. When you enroll in Medicare you will get a red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail. Your Medicare card shows that you have medical health insurance. On the card it well tell you what Medicare “Part” you have. It’s very important that you care the card with you and that you show your card to your doctor, hospital, or other health care provider when needed.
It is also important that you watch out for scams regarding your Medicare card. Scammers will usually call you and ask for your current Medicare Number and other personal information like your social security number. They will often ask you to confirm your current information, tell you that there is a charge for your new card, or threaten to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your information with them. Medicare will not do this. You should not give information like this to anyone over the phone. If someone calls and asks for this information from you hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
If you don’t have a Medicare card but know you have Medicare, you can simply call the number on your current insurance card and find out more information about your coverage. You can also contact Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 or go to mymedicare.gov for more information.