These are the basics of Medicare, available to all people over the age of 65 and those that have special circumstances (such as a permanent disability).
Part A: This portion encompasses your hospital care as well as skilled nursing facility and hospice care–and in some cases, home health care.
PART A IS GIVEN TO YOU
Part B: This portion covers your doctor visits, tests, exams, therapies and more. This is your area of greatest use.
PART B WILL COST $135.50* FOR THE NEW USER IN 2019
*Under the income level of $85K for an individual and $170K for a couple.
This basic set-up dictates that the government will pay 80% of all medicare approved services.
It is then up to you to pay the other 20%. This is traditionally done in one of two ways:
- By way of a traditional Medicare supplement, or
- By way of a Medicare Advantage plan
The traditional Medicare supplement has several distinguishing features:
- It is a true insurance product.
- All services must be “Medicare approved”
- The program eliminates the need for networks. If the doctor/facility accepts Medicare, then the bill is paid.
- Because it is a true insurance product, you can expect annual rate increases.
- There is no medical underwriting during your initial election period.
- Rx is not included, requiring a stand-alone Rx plan.
The Medicare Advantage plan is an arrangement where your care is provided through a private carrier, using their network resources.
- You may be offered additional services outside of the traditional “Medicare approved” schedule.
- You will use the network of your private-based carrier.
- You will have generally a lower, more stable premium.
- You will pay for services as you advance through your regular care as well as special tests and procedures.
- Rx is included as part of your plan, unless you choose otherwise.
Below is a basic guide to the Part A/Part B/Supplement breakdown: