Understanding how Medicare works can be hard to sort out at first. It's not something you need to know much about until you approach age 65. That's when your mailbox becomes overloaded with information from different agencies, insurance companies, and the government. How do you tell essential information from advertising come-ons?
At Texas Medicare Advisors in Austin, Texas, it's not unusual for someone to bring in a bunch of mail that they received about Medicare and ask us to help identify which things should be kept and which can be tossed out.
Enrolling in Medicare involves making important decisions. And there are a lot of options to choose from that affect how broad your medical coverage will be and how much you'll have to pay in monthly premiums and annual deductibles.
But first things first.
When you first become eligible for Medicare, you'll want to get the ball rolling right away. Get started here:
There are several steps to enrolling. The good news is that the first step isn't as complex as it seems. You can find most of the information you need right here on this website. But if you'd rather talk to one of our licensed Medicare advisors, we're happy to guide you through each step of the process.
Sorting through the names of all the different programs under the Medicare umbrella can be confusing. Here's a brief overview to help you see the big picture.
Medicare Part A is your hospital insurance. It covers your room and board while you are in the hospital.
Medicare Part B is for outpatient services that are deemed medically necessary.
Medicare Part B includes coverage for services like doctor office visits, lab testing, diagnostic imaging, preventive care, surgeries, and ambulance rides.
Medicare Part D is a federal program administered through private insurance companies. These companies offer retail prescription drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries.
You enroll in a Part D plan through an insurance company in your home state. Instead of paying the full cost for your prescriptions, you will pay only the co-pays required by the plan.
Medicare Part C is another name for private Medicare insurance. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 created Part C, which is now referred to as Medicare Advantage.
Before enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will want to read about the differences between Medical Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage.