The answer is simple that it is a government-sponsored health care plan for the elderly and the disabled people. Created in 1965, Medicare has been designed to provide the medical coverage to people in Social Security matters. It is often confused with Medicaid, which was created to provide medical care to the poorest, so they are not the same thing.

Medicare works much like health insurance, except that the government is reimbursing the doctors and hospitals, not a private insurance company. You are eligible for Medicare when you reach the age of 65, if you are medically disabled before the age of 65, or if you have permanent kidney failure which requires dialysis or a transplant. Medicare is divided into several parts, simply known as A, B, C and D. Let’s see what each part is about.

A

It is similar to health insurance that covers against the hospitalization for catastrophic events. It can also cover a skilled nursing facility, home health care facility in case meeting certain conditions.

B

It provides coverage for medically necessary services like outpatient insertion symbol and physician services. It also covers some preventive services to help maintain health and keep certain diseases from getting worse.

C

It is also known as a Medicare Advantage Plan. It is another way to take the benefit. It mixes all other parts and is administered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.

It is more cost effective and offers better features, even if you supplement A and B with additional coverage. However, plans may charge co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles for the services they offer.

D

It offers prescription drug coverage which can help reduce the costs of prescription drugs and protect against rising costs in the future.

In case you don’t join the Medicare prescription drug plan at the time you turn out to be an entitled person, you may have to pay a fine in case you enroll in the program late. You pay the fine penalty while you are enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug plan. However, you may not pay it in case you are entitled to the Extra Benefit or the other accredited prescription drug plan.

The people who were recently eligible for Medicare coverage should be enrolled during their initial enrollment period. To register or change providers, it is from October 15 to December 7 of each year. The registration takes effect on January 1 of the next year. There are also special enrollment periods in some situations.

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