Medicare is important health insurance coverage for many Americans, and it pays to fully understand the coverage you have. When there are a variety of parts, all with different letters, it can be a challenge. What are Parts A and B and which one do you need?
Fortunately, we can help. Medicare Part A and Part B are both elements of Original Medicare. They cover your health costs in different situations. Here’s what you need to know.
Medicare Part A is known as hospital insurance because it helps cover the costs when you are hospitalized. Part A pays for inpatient care, hospice care, skilled nursing, and some home health care services.
Medicare Part A generally does not cover 100 percent of costs. There is usually a copay or deductible that you are responsible for. Also, in order to qualify for coverage, the services must be deemed medically necessary.
Medicare Part A can be premium-free for many Americans. In order to qualify for this, you have to be receiving Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, and you need to have a qualifying work history. This means that you or your spouse have worked a specific number of quarters while paying FICA taxes.
Medicare Part B is medical insurance. It covers services such as doctor’s visits, preventive care, mental health, physical therapy, and other outpatient care. In order to use Medicare Part B, the provider must accept Medicare insurance and the items and services must be medically necessary.
Like Medicare Part A, Part B does not cover 100 percent of costs. If you have Original Medicare, you will be responsible for 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for each service or item. You may also have a deductible.
Medicare Part B is not free. Most Americans have to pay a monthly premium for Part B. If you are lower-income, you may be eligible for programs that help you pay for your Part B premium.
Eligibility for Medicare A and B is generally limited to Americans and permanent residents who are 65 years of age or older. You may also qualify if you are under age 65 and have a qualifying disability or end-stage renal disease.
Many people get Medicare Part A and B automatically when they turn 65, but some people need to sign up. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will automatically get Medicare Parts A and B. However, be sure to check our your eligibility requirements if you have more questions or need for more information.
It’s important to fully understand your Medicare options so that you can choose the right plan for your needs. Medicare Parts A and B are just the beginning. You can also qualify for additional coverage that may lower your out-of-pocket costs.
To learn more about your Medicare options, talk to a licensed insurance agent and compare plans today!