A Detailed Look into Medicare Part A and Part B
What is Medicare?
Medicare refers to a health insurance plan that covers those who have attained the age of 65 years and above or those below the age of 65 years and have certain disabilities that qualify them for coverage. Medicare is divided into a few different categories. Below we will look at Medicare part A and Medicare Part B in greater detail.
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that specializes in catering for those seeking inpatient care services in hospitals. In addition to that, it also caters for home health care and hospice care provided you are eligible. It covers patients who are 65 years old and older, must be American Citizens, disabled patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ESRD or those who get disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security for a period not less than 25 months. Medicare Part A works favorably for those who meet the mentioned eligibility requirements.
- How much does a Medicare Part A coverage cost?
Although some people are required to part with a monthly premium of about $411, those who have paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of 10 years are exempted.
- Can a late enrollment for Medicare Part A be penalized?
It is important to enroll for Medicare Part A when you hit the age of 65 years without failure. People who qualify for free Part A coverage are not penalized. Failure to enroll for Part A after attaining the age of 65 years can attract an increment of up to 10% on your monthly premium rate. The more you delay to enroll for Medicare Part A the higher the premium. For instance, anyone who delay buying Part A for 2 years from when they are first eligible for the cover, have to part with an extra 10% monthly premium for a maximum of 4 years. Citizens who enroll for Part A during a Special Enrollment Period are exempted from penalties.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
This is a medical Insurance plan that covers essential medical services that are not covered by Part A. Some of these significant services include; Outpatient care, preventive services, and doctors’ services among others. Although Medicare Part B is optional, those without it cannot sign up for Part coverage. The general enrollment period for Part B is from 1st January to 31st March but coverage is only effective from 1st July that same year.
- How much does a Medicare Part B coverage cost?
The cost of Medicare Part B was standardized in 2016 to $121.80 monthly premium. However, this coverage cost can either increase or decrease yearly depending on the government. Those interested in finding up-to-date premium charges should not hesitate to visit Medicare.gov for more information.
- Is it possible to buy Medicare Part B if I don’t have Part A?
In most cases, you need Part B to qualify for Part A coverage. Nevertheless, you can sign up for Part B without buying Part A if you are a US citizen, have a permanent immigrant residency legal permit, have lived in the U.S for at least 5 years before signing up for Part B coverage.
Remember late Medicare Part B sign up can attract a late enrollment penalty for prolonged periods. It is important to sign up for coverage as soon as you qualify!
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