What Are My Medicare Enrollment Options?
Medicare enrollment options might seem like a conundrum of confusing words and vague terms, but it doesn't have to be as confusing as you think. A Medicare enrollment option is known as a Part. Currently, there are four Parts that are offered through Medicare. Medicare Part A and Part B are traditional Medicare programs that are entirely run by the government. The two more recent additions to Medicare, Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D, are offered through private insurers. Here we will explain all four Medicare enrollment options.
Medicare Part A is the no-cost health insurance program given to seniors who have worked and paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of 10 years. Medicare Part A covers general hospital inpatient care and includes a semiprivate room, food, doctor's fees and tests. A senior may also be qualified to be stay at a skilled nursing facility if their hospital stay was at least three nights long, they require rehabilitation and have been diagnosed during the hospital stay.
Medicare Part B is designed to help seniors meet additional costs. Medicare Part B, unlike Medicare Part A, must be paid for monthly by enrolled seniors. General outpatient treatment such as doctor visits, nursing services, laboratory and diagnostic tests, x-rays, limited ambulance transportation and chemotherapy are covered by Part B.
One of the newer Medicare enrollment option is Medicare Part C. It is run by private insurers and is an alternative to government-run Part A and Part B programs. Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. Medicare Part C insurers charge members a set monthly rate and offer the same benefits as Part A and Part B. Members who pay a higher premium can get benefits, such as dental and vision coverage, that are not covered by Part A and Part B.
The newest Medicare enrollment option, Medicare Part D, is an prescription drug insurance program offered through private insurers. Seniors who choose to enroll in a Medicare Part D program pay an additional monthly fee and choose which drugs that they wish to be covered.