Assistance with health care has been a growing issue in the United States for years. Many individuals, especially seniors, find that they are unable to afford medical bills or insurance for coverage. This leaves them with some tough decisions. Too often, one must choose between good health and finances. There's no middle ground. The Medicare program was developed by the government to help those who are eligible with their overwhelming health care bills.
There is a lot of information to process when considering Medicare. Knowing what it is and how it works will help you choose the program that will best meet your individual needs. Use this helpful guide to get an understanding of the Medicare program and which plan can best benefit you.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a government health insurance program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare is the largest health insurance service in the country, with around 47 million Americans participating. To be eligible you must be a citizen of the United States and meet certain requirements. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you can contact the Social Security Administration office to learn if you would be eligible.
Can you answer yes to at least one of the following statements?
- I am 65 years of age or older.
- I am under 65, but I have certain disabilities.
- I have End-Stage Renal Disease (kidney failure that requires a transplant or dialysis).
If so, then you are likely to be eligible for Medicare benefits
You have two ways to get Medicare coverage
Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
- Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B. It is offered through the federal government.
- Medicare Advantage is known as Part C. It includes all the coverage of Parts A and B, plus additional benefits. Medicare Advantage plans are offered through private insurance companies approved by Medicare.
No matter which way you decide to get your coverage, you first need to enroll in Medicare. You can enroll in Medicare Part A, Part B or both, depending on your needs.
- If you enroll in just Part A or Part B, then you will receive your coverage through Original Medicare.