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The Basics of Medicare: What You Need to Know

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September 7, 2023

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Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older, people with specific disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease. It provides health insurance coverage for various services, including hospital care, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and other medical services. This blog discusses the basics of Medicare and how to choose the right plan for you.

What You Need to Know About Medicare

There are four parts to Medicare:

  • Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care services.
  • Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, preventive services, and other medical services.
  • Part C (Medicare Advantage) is a private health insurance plan that provides all of the benefits of Part A and Part B, plus some additional benefits.
  • Part D is a prescription drug plan that helps pay for prescription drugs.

Medicare Eligibility

To be eligible for Medicare, you must meet certain age, residency, and citizenship requirements. You can enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is the seven-month period that begins three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after your birthday. You can also enroll in Medicare during the General Enrollment Period (GEP), which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year.

Medicare Costs

Medicare costs vary depending on your income and assets. Part A has no monthly premium for most people, but you may have to pay a deductible and coinsurance for some services. Part B has a monthly premium deducted from your Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. You may also have to pay a deductible and coinsurance for some services. Part C premiums vary depending on the plan you choose. Part D premiums also vary depending on the plan you choose.

There are several ways to help pay for Medicare costs. These include:

  • Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs): These programs help low-income people pay for their Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.
  • Medicaid: This joint federal and state program provides health insurance for low-income people. If you qualify for Medicaid, you may be able to get help paying for your Medicare costs.
  • Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS): This program helps low-income people pay for their Medicare Part D premiums and copays.

If you are approaching 65 or already eligible for Medicare, learning about your options and choosing the right plan is essential. Several resources are available to help you, including the Medicare website, your local Social Security office, and Medicare-approved insurance agents.

Additional Medicare Basics

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about Medicare:

  • You can sign up for Medicare online, by phone, or by mail.
  • You can change your Medicare coverage during the Annual Election Period (AEP), which runs from October 1 to December 7 each year.
  • You can get help choosing a Medicare plan from a Medicare-approved insurance agent.
  • There are a number of Medicare-related scams out there. Do your research and only sign up for plans from legitimate companies.

We hope this blog post has given you a basic understanding of Medicare. At Magnolia Insurance Agency, we can advise you on the best Medicare options for your needs. Call us at 770-213-5171 or contact us online


Health Insurance / By Magnolia Insurance Agency

Contact Us Today – 770-213-5171

Stephen Dufour
Owner, Magnolia Insurance Agency
Office: 770-213-5171
Fax: 770-338-6932

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