The program is funded by multiple sources:
- Social Security and Medicare taxes from income
- Premiums people pay with medicare
- Federal budget
Types of Medicare
The original form of medicare had two parts. These two parts are Part A and Part B. Part A is hospital insurance. If you paid for medicare taxes while working for a certain amount of time, then you do not have to pay for Part A coverage. Part A covers:
• Inpatient care in hospitals
• Skilled nursing facility care
• Hospice care
• Home health care
Part B is for medical coverage and it requires a monthly premium payment. Part B covers:
• Services from health care professionals
• Outpatient care
• Home health care
• Durable medical equipment
• Preventive services
Part C and Part D are not part of original medicare. Part C is a combination of all of the other parts rolled into a single coverage. There are extra benefits to part c like vision, hearing and dental services. Part D medicare covers prescription medication.
When and How Should You Apply?
Now that you know about the basics of medicare, you must be wondering when and how you should enroll.
When To Apply
You are able to apply for medicare when you turn 65. The enrollment period is 7 months long. You get 3 months before you turn 65 and three months past the month that you turn 65. It is best to apply within the first three months so that you can avoid having any gaps in coverage. If you apply outside of this 7 month period, you can incur financial penalties from medicare.
How to Apply for Medicare
Applying for medicare is not difficult. You can apply online or you can call social security at 1-800-772-1213.
If You Receive Social Security
If you receive social security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in medicare Part A and B when you turn 65.2 years old. Once you are enrolled, you can expect a medicare card in the mail also you will receive a package with important information.
If You Do Not Receive Social Security
If you do not receive social security or railroad retirement benefits, you will not be automatically signed up for medicaid. You will have to apply 3 months before the month you turn 65. You can call to complete the application or you can find the application online. Even if you do not need medicaid, it is beneficial to at least sign up for medicare Part A when you become eligible.
Part B Enrollment
If you choose not to enroll in part b right away, don’t worry. You did not miss your chance. There is a special enrollment period that allows you to add medicare Part B when you no longer have other sources of health insurance or your retire. This special enrollment period lasts for 8 months. If you sign up during the special enrollment period, you will not have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
Part C Enrollment
Every year between October 15 to December 7 there is an open enrollment period. This is also referred to the Annual Election Period. During this time anyone with medicare Part A and Part B can enroll in Part C. If you are enrolled in Part C you can move back to Part A and Part B at anytime.
Part D Enrollment
Enrollment for Part D is similar to Part A and Part B. You have a 7 month enrollment window. This window starts 3 months before you turn 65 years old and extends 3 months after your birthday.