AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Individuals who are heading into retirement do themselves a favor by learning as much about how to prepare themselves as possible. Although there are a plethora of things that should be done to ensure that one retires well, securing access to adequate health care may be the single most important task to complete.

About Medicare 5 Things You Need To Know About Medicare

Medicare, America’s national health insurance program, is designed to aid U.S. citizens in this task. By learning more about Medicare, you can make plans for your retirement future with great confidence. Here are five things you should know about it:

Age of Eligibility

People become eligible for Medicare at the age of 65. Being aware of this age is very important, because it gives you time to put together a feasible plan such that you and your family can live comfortably during your retirement years.

The Four Components of Medicare

Medicare has several components. Part A covers hospital care, while part B covers medical services. In order to cover the Part A and Part B benefits, Medicare offers individuals their choice between traditional Medicare (single payer health care) and a network plan. This network plan is referred to as Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage. With it, the federal government is responsible for paying for the private health coverage. With Medicare part D, outpatient prescription drugs are covered through either Medicare Advantage plans which offer prescription drugs or private plans.

Supplemental Insurance Options

If you receive Medicare and want extra help in covering co-payments, deductibles, and other gaps, you may be interested in getting the medical supplemental insurance plan. The plan, which is made available through private insurance companies, is modifiable. Specifically, you can change your medigap plan whenever you wish. However, if you opt to change plans after six months from the date you enrolled in Part B, you could be refused coverage based on your health or charged additional fees.

Additional Fees Based On Income

If your income reaches a certain level and you’ve chosen traditional Medicare, be aware that you’ll be charged more for Part B and Part D. Each of these premiums comes with a surcharge for those whose adjusted gross income (plus your tax exempt income) is higher than $85,000 (for singles) or $170,000 (for those who are married filing jointly). In the year 2013, people with the aforementioned incomes who are enrolled in Part B will pay anywhere between $146.90 to $335.70 per person each month. If they have enrolled in Part D, costs will range from $11.60 to $66.40 each month. These rates are in addition to the regular premiums.

Free Preventive Services

The recent health care reform has resulted in an increase in the number of free preventive services offered to Medicare beneficiaries. For example, beneficiaries can now attain a complementary “wellness” visit to help update or develop a customized prevention plan. Additionally, beneficiaries can attain a complementary cardiovascular screening once every five years as well as annual flu shots, annual mammograms, and screenings for prostate, cervical, and colorectal cancers.

About Author : Peter Wendt is a writer from Houston, Texas. His grandmother is on Medicaid and constantly relies on durable medical supplies that are delivered to her home. If you have an elderly loved one, he recommends ensuring that they have everything they need to know about Medicare.
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