All you need to know about Medicare is an ultimate guide for people who are looking to join this program. Here you will read about the benefits of the program, the existing types of coverage and the documentation you will need to join.

What is Medicare? 

Medicare is a government program that gives health care coverage if you are over 65 years of age or under 65 and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a certain amount of time, as well as if you are under the age of 65 with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The Social Security and Medicare taxes you pay on your pay stubs, through the fee that people with Medicare pay, and by the budget, this is what funds the program.

Once you are eligible and join, you can choose to get your benefits from the Original Medicare (OM). This is a traditional fee-for-service program through the government or from a Medicare Advantage Plan (MAP). It is a private insurance service through companies that contract with medicare. However, you still have it if you join a MAP. Each MAP must give all Part A and B services covered by OM, keeping in mind that different rules, costs, and restrictions may apply. Depending on your choice of benefits and who you get them from can affect the amount of your cost and where you can get your care.

For instance, OM gives coverage to nearly all doctors and hospitals in the country. MAP usually has network restrictions but, on the bright side, MAP can also give additional benefits that OM does not cover. For example, routine vision or dental care. It is important to know that Medicare is different from Medicaid. Although Medicaid is also a government sponsor program in partnerships with states to cover people with limited incomes or other criteria such as age, disability status, and pregnancy. Remember, unlike Medicaid, Medicare eligibility does not depend on income.

What are the 4 types of Medicare?

  • A – gives inpatient hospital coverage included with OM.
  • B – gives outpatient medical coverage, included with OM.
  • C – gives private insurance companies contracted with Medicare. It covers everything that OM (Part A and Part B) cover and may cover extra benefits as well.
  • D – gives prescription coverage drug; with OM, in most cases, you will need to actively choose and join a stand-alone Medicare private drug plan (PDP). MAP can also give Part D coverage.

What documents do I need to apply for Medicare? 

  • Your birth certificate.
  • Proof of United States citizenship or legal residency, if not born in the US.
  • Driver’s license.