The principle of Medicare is to ensure that senior citizens and those people with specific disabilities, always have somewhere to turn to for assistance with medical coverage.
Yearly, the Medicare system assists nearly fifty million people in the United States, according to Medicare.gov. While it is primarily designed to assist senior citizens, the Medicare program has also been expanded to help those burdened by particular ailments that often require large amounts of funding to treat, especially end stage renal disease.
Eligibility for Medicare
Medicare is designed to be broadly encompassing when it determines whether or not an individual is eligible for coverage. Read More...
What types of costs does Medicare cover?
Due to the widely varying types of costs that can be incurred for medical care, the Medicare system is split into several key parts. Much of the confusion about how Medicare works stems from the fact that the benefits are split into these separate parts.
- Part A covers costs arising from various types of inpatient care, including inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, home health care, and hospice care.
- Part B generally covers costs that come from outpatient services, including doctor visits, outpatient hospital care, any home healthcare that Part A does not cover, medical equipment intended for long-term use, preventative services like vaccines, and lab testing.
- Part C is a type of coverage called the Medicare Advantage Plan, which is a health plan that is offered by a private insurance companies. The insurance company contracts with Medicare to provide Medicare recipients with coverage both under Part A and Part B. Prescription Drug coverage may also be offered through a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Part D provides prescription drug coverage to the Medicare system. Part D can get especially confusing considering that companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans might offer prescription drug coverage at their own, or a different company offers prescription drug coverage under Medicare's direct control.
Part C plans offered by a private insurance company contracting with Medicare to provide the benefits in Part A and Part B, as well is often providing additional benefits not found in standard Medicare coverage.