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Medicare plan comparisons are rather confusing but the article will attempt to explain them in plain language. Medicare is available to all people over sixty-five who have been residents of the United States for at least five years and have paid in the appropriate taxes for ten years previously. Some disabled people under sixty-five qualify for this coverage as well.
Part A Medicare is hospital insurance, Part B is medical insurance, Part D is for prescription drugs, and Medicare Part C is a designation for Medicare Advantage Plans. Medicare Advantage Plans are similar to HMO health insurance and do not require supplemental Medigap insurance. Medicare benefits must be approved by Medicare and are subject to medical necessity.
Part A Medicare covers the first twenty days of a hospital stay fully, the remaining eighty days require a co-payment. Nursing home benefits are included subject to certain provisions:
Part B insurance covers what is not covered by Part A or Part D. It is mostly used for outpatient services. There is a deductible, after that is met Medicare pays eighty percent of the charges and the patient pays the remaining twenty percent. Part B coverage is complex, highly regulated, and has strict limits for procedures. Part B Medicare is optional for people who are still working.
Part C, as stated previously, is similar to a HMO plan administered by private insurance companies. It usually requires going to specific doctors or hospitals.
Part D Medicare is prescription insurance that is available to anyone enrolled in Part A and B Medicare. Part D is regulated by Medicare but is administered by private health insurance companies.
In closing Medicare plan comparisons are subject to personal needs. People deciding what coverage to use must take age, employment, disposable income, and health into consideration. No one Medicare Plan is suitable for everyone but Medicare does offer choices to all people over sixty-five.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|