First you must understand that there are many parts of Medicare. A quick look will help you to see under what parts of the system you are allowed preventive services. Medicare part A is commonly called the ‘premium free’ part A. It is called that because most people paid Medicare taxes while they were working in order to get it. Then there are the following parts:
· Part B – Medical Insurance
· Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans
· Part D – Prescription Drug Plans
Part A is hospital insurance that helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care. It alone covers no preventive services so you must purchase part B or C in order for those to kick in. Medicare Advantage Plans (or part ‘C’ or ‘MA’ plans) premiums provide all of your part A and B coverage and may offer extra coverage such as vision, hearing, dental as well as health and wellness programs.
Most will also include prescription drug coverage, which is part D.
All plans after you have begun Medicare part A will cost you premium money. Private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare administer all these. So in order for you to obtain any preventive care in your Medicare you will have to purchase one of these plans. It is an extremely good idea to shop around prior to purchasing a plan as each company has different rates and ways of administering the plans.
The main thing to understand about what preventive testing you will be able to have is that in your part B or part C, the company you are with will decide what those will be. It is very important that when you are shopping around for your Medicare supplemental insurance that you ask questions regarding exactly what you will be paying for.