If you’re in the dark about how to obtain Medicare, what it covers, how much it costs, or best practices for optimized benefits, then this two-part article is for you.

Known as the national health insurance program for millions of senior Americans over the age of 65, Medicare is a common consideration for taxpayers nearing retirement age – which is why it’s so important to understand your options.

Medicare Classes

There are five types of Medicare coverage; each divided into what’s known as a “part”:

• Medicare Part A – Hospital insurance for inpatient treatment, as well as nursing, hospice, and some in-home care.

• Medicare Part B – Medical insurance that covers select outpatient treatments, doctor visits, preventative services, and health supplies. As of 2019, the standard premium is $135.50/month – though it can be higher depending on your income – while most preventative services are free if it’s accepted by the medical practitioner. Original Medicare includes both Parts A and B, and usually require a deductible or coinsurance.

• Medicare Part C – Known as Medicare Advantage (MA), Part C is private coverage provided by companies who participate in Medicare and serves as an alternative to Original Medicare. Including a combination of Parts A, B, and D, as well as some hearing, vision, and dental coverage, MA is typically paid through both it’s premium and Part B’s premium, while also often requiring a copayment or coinsurance and yearly out-of-pocket limit.

• Medicare Part D – Insurance for prescription drugs that can be added to a Medicare plan, covered by your monthly premium and typically offered by private companies.

• Medicare Supplement Insurance – Otherwise known as Medigap, it’s an additional coverage for some deductibles and coinsurances for Parts A and B.

Now that you know the different types of Medicare, next comes getting yourself enrolled and understanding how best to use the benefits entitled to you. So, stay tuned for part two of Medicare Insurance Explained, where we’ll cover everything you need to know about your next steps to getting coverage!

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