Medicare is a federal health insurance program for adults age 65 and older. Younger people diagnosed with certain health conditions (like End-Stage Renal Disease) are also eligible for Medicare.
What are the “Parts” of Medicare?
The federal Medicare program is made up of two parts:
Part A - Hospital Insurance helps cover:
- Hospital Care
- Care in a skilled nursing facility
- Hospice Care
- Some home health care
Medicare Part A usually does not require a monthly premium if you have paid at least 10 years (40 quarters) of Medicare taxes during your working life.
Part B - Medical Insurance helps cover:
- Doctor and other health care providers' services
- Outpatient care
- Durable medical equipment
- Home Health Care
- Some preventive care services, such as your flu shots and yearly wellness visits
Medicare Part B usually requires a monthly premium, but in many cases, it can come right out of your Social Security check. Your Part B premium amount is based on your income level.
Together, Medicare Care Parts A and B are often called “Original Medicare.” You can find detailed information about your costs for Original Medicare at Medicare.gov.
Beyond “Original Medicare”: Medicare Supplement Plans and Part D Coverage
Once you’ve enrolled in Original Medicare, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont offers two forms of additional coverage:
- Medicare Supplemental Plans (also called Medigap plans) assist with the remaining costs to Medicare Part A & B after Medicare pays its share.
- Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage helps you pay for the cost of your prescription medications at the pharmacy or mail order.
Together with Original Medicare, a Medicare Supplement Plan and Part D Prescription Drug Coverage can provide more complete peace-of-mind than Original Medicare alone.
- What is Medicare?
- What is a Medicare Supplemental Plan, and do I need one?
- When should I enroll in Medicare?
- Where can I get more information or assistance with Medicare?
- What about prescription coverage?
Ready to sign up for a Medicare Supplemental Plan?
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