Medicare is a health insurance program offered by the U.S government. It covers adults aged 65 years or older, those with end-stage renal illness, and younger people with disabilities. Medicare consists of different plans covering specific components of health care, such as Medicare Advantage. While this enables the program to provide participants with more options in terms of coverage and costs, it also presents complexity for people wanting to sign up. Here are some facts you may not know about Medicare:
1. Traditional Medicare isn’t your only option
Traditional or original Medicare consists of Medicare Part A and B. Apart from these two, you can opt to enroll for Medicare Part C (a combination of Parts A and B) or Medicare Part D. Many Medicare Advantage plans provide benefits not typically accessible through traditional Medicare, and United AARP Medicare plans are created to help you optimize your healthcare spending. While United Healthcare Medicare plans differ by service area, most of them provide medical and non-medical advantages that help members save.
2. Medicare encompasses several parts
Medicare Part A or Hospital Insurance caters to hospital admissions, hospice care, care in an expert nursing facility, and home health care. Medicare Part B or Medical Insurance caters to outpatient care, some doctors’ services, preventive services, and medical supplies. Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage is Part A, and Part B combined. Other than Medicare Parts A, B, and C, there is also Part D, or Prescription Drug Coverage, which helps the individual cater for the cost of prescription medicine and other recommended vaccines or shots.
3. Dental and vision coverage is limited
Medicine has limited coverage for dental and vision care. Medicare does not cover dental services such as dentures, dental devices, dental plates, tooth extractions, fillings, and cleanings. Part A may pay for some services received while in the hospital if you need a complicated or emergency dental procedure, despite dental care not being covered. Also, Medicare does not pay for contact lenses, eyeglasses, or routine eye exams.
4. Medicare doesn’t cover long term care
Long-term care is the most expensive, especially for adults over age 65. Whether in a home or assisted living facility, extended care is costly. Seniors over age 65 require some form of extended care during their life. Medicare pays for 20 days of long-term care and another 80 days partially. Thereafter, you pay out-of-pocket.
5. It costs more; the more money you make
Although the larger population pays the standard premium rate, if you opt for Medicare part B, you will pay a higher premium based on your income. The average Medicare Part B monthly premium for 2023 is $164.90, from $170.10 in 2022. The yearly deductible for 2023 is $226 from $233 in 2022. But, taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income pay a higher premium.
6. Medicare offers a free annual wellness exam
Your Medicare coverage will pay for one wellness exam annually. You won’t have to pay the deductible or coinsurance for the exam. Your doctor will develop a comprehensive prevention plan during the exam. Expect to get routine health checks such as weight and blood pressure, a checklist for preventive examinations, a family and medical history summary, and a health evaluation. If you are a new Medicare enrollee, you get a free visit to welcome you to Medicare, which you should exploit.