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What Does Medicare Cover?

What Does Medicare Cover?

December 01, 2021



Medicare is a complicated topic. It can be difficult to understand how it works and what it covers. We'll lay out what Medicare covers and hopefully take the confusion out of Medicare so you won't have to worry about your health coverage anymore!

Let's first talk about who qualifies for Medicare.

Who qualifies for Medicare?

To qualify for Medicare, you must be 65 years of age or older, and you must be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States for at least the last five years. Other people qualify for Medicare, like those younger than 65 but have certain disabilities or have end-stage renal failure.

If you start receiving Social Security benefits when you are 65, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. But if you'd like to use Part D, you must do that yourself as you won't automatically be enrolled.

If you aren't receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you'll need to enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration website. If you miss the window for Medicare enrollment, there is still an annual open enrollment, just like with any other type of health insurance.

If you fit into these categories and qualify for Medicare, you should know there are parts of Medicare that offer different coverage.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility or home healthcare. With most people not paying premiums while using Part A, it's important to know if you qualify for premium-free before signing up. Even if you don't qualify for the premium-free Part A, you can still pay to use it.

Part B covers certain doctor's services, outpatient services, medical supplies and preventative screenings. Everyone who uses Part B pays a monthly premium.

Parts A and B don't cover everything, including long-term care, most dental care, eye exams related to prescribing glasses, dentures, cosmetic surgery, acupuncture, hearing aids and routine foot care.

Part C and Part D together cover the same things that Parts A and B do with some additional benefits like dental coverage and vision care. They also provide extra prescription drug coverage for those who have reached their limit on what they could receive from Part D's Prescription Drug Coverage (PDP) alone.

Even if you have Medicare, you can also use other health insurance to help cover your healthcare costs. Or if you're looking for insurance to help fill the gaps that Medicare has, there's also an option known as Medigap. This is an additional health insurance policy you can buy from a private insurer to help cover the costs of what isn't covered by Parts A and B.

If you think you qualify for Medicare and want to learn more about how the different parts can help you, visit the Medicare website. They'll have resources to help determine what coverage you qualify for and how you can start putting this government program to good use.