Understanding the Medicare Enrollment Form.

***This is a synopsis of an article published in Harvard Health.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older and those with a disability (younger or older than 65, and who are eligible for Social Security benefits).

Out-of-pocket costs are significantly lower in Medicare than other healthcare plans. When reading through the enrollment form, you will see that Medicare is designated by the letters A through D. Each one offers different benefits. Here is a summary of each part:

Part A and Part B are considered “Traditional or Original Medicare.”

Part A

When you enroll in Medicare, you are automatically enrolled in Part A, which covers Inpatient care — hospitalization, short-term nursing home care, hospice, doctor visits, and lab tests while you’re in the hospital, receiving home care or in a facility. The insured is responsible for coinsurance and an annual deductible.

Part B

Is optional and covers outpatient care, including a portion of doctor bills, outpatient treatment, home-based physical therapy, certain screenings and lab tests, and certain prescription drugs. Part B requires a monthly premium and an annual deductible, which the insured is responsible for.

Part C

Plans under Part C are known as Medicare Advantage plans which are offered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies and coordinated through managed care organizations (HMO or PPO) that use provider networks. These plans offer all of the services in Part A and Part B and usually Part D (prescription drug coverage). These plans may cover other benefits (depending on the plan) including vision, hearing, and dental programs. Usually, copays and deductibles are lower than other Medicare plans, but the premium is higher. The Medicare Advantage plans’ scope of benefits makes communication much easier between the healthcare providers and the insured.

Part D

There is a wide range of benefits associated with these plans, specifically, the coverage of a portion of prescription drug costs.

Read the full article here.

For more information on how to navigate health insurance options, click here.

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