Original Medicare health care insurance is divided into two sections, Medicare Part A is the hospital insurance, and Part B is medical insurance. You become eligible for Medicare coverage when you reach 65. If you are not earning pension payments from either Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board when you turn 65, you are automatically enrolled in all sections of Medicare through these administrations.
If you are younger than 65, but have a qualified disability and are granted coverage for 24 months, or have end-stage renal disease, or ALS, you will also be automatically enrolled in Medicare. You are eligible for premium-free Part A Medicare if you or your spouse have operated and paid Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters (10 years).
Here's a detailed look at what's covered by Medicare Part A:
Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) provides short-term treatment in a licensed nursing facility if you have days left in your current coverage span, have been in the hospital, and need more qualified nursing care to get better, or for a special reason, the doctor recommends this care. Also, Medicare must certify the facility.
For up to 60 days after you pay the premium for the current benefit duration, Part A covers the cost of long-term care in a Medicare-approved facility. You pay the costs that are valid after 60 days.
In a hospital that accepts Medicare, Part A pays for inpatient services if the doctor certifies that you need this care for the treatment of an accident or disease. Your coverage, when you are in the hospital, includes:
You also get coverage under Medicare Part A, in:
When you comply with any of the following requirements, Medicare Part A covers your hospice care:
When you are in hospice care, the following care and facilities are also included in your Medicare benefits based on the treatment plan the hospice team has made:
If you're eligible, the Medicare Part A benefits will cover 100 percent of the cost of some home health services. You pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved cost for this equipment if you need reliable medical equipment. The facilities that are provided by your hospital benefits include:
You may not qualify for the home health option if you require more than part-time or intermittent care, but you can leave home for short-term medical treatment or adult daycare and still be qualified.
You would have at least the same coverage as Original Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B if you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, although there are different advantages to most Medicare Advantage plans. Check out the Medicare Advantage plans in your region if you are going to apply for Medicare soon, or want to explore your options.
You can compare Medicare plans. For little or no extra cost, you can find that you can get access to more benefits.
Medicare is covered only by home health care services prescribed by a physician and delivered by qualified nurses, although patients must meet strict eligibility criteria.
What is the easiest way to apply for Medicare? Well, you are in the right place! Most people were automatically enrolled and became eligible for Social Security when they turn to 65. We didn't need to apply for Medicare until President Reagan signed the legislation which raises the retirement age in 1983 and begins in 2003.
While eye care is a common need as we age, Medicare coverage is extremely restricted for most vision services. It is normally based on whether you encounter any medical problems that can impair your eyesight.
Many people believe that Medicare is free because, for much of their working life, you have paid into Medicare by taxes, but that assumption is not right.