The Four Parts of Medicare

Medicare is not just a “one fits all’ system as people on Medicare do have decisions they can make on just what type of health care they want to be covered for. For that reason there are 4 parts to Medicare; A,B,C and D with A being the part that anyone who reaches the age of 65 and has worked for 10 years or more, is entitled to for free on their retirement. The US government has put this in place as it realizes that most people’s health insurance is the one that is provided by their employer and so when they stop work, they have none.

In order to get the best possible health care at as little cost as possible, you should look at what all 4 different parts offer, compare and learn more about each, then apply for any or all that suit both your expected health requirements and your budget. One part, Part A, is free and provides coverage for days spent in hospital. Part B is optional and covers a doctor’s visit to your home or a visit to a hospital as an out-patient.

Part C is in fact a private health insurance but as you take that out, giving up your rights to Medicare, Medicare will pay something towards the insurance costs. Part D covers prescription drugs and is often worth considering as those can be expensive and they seemingly keep increasing in price, plus of course, we often need more of them as we get older.

As well as the 4 parts to Medicare there are also Medicare supplements which can be bought. These supplements, sometimes referred to as Medigaps, exist to fill in gaps that there may be in any of the Medicare parts. This means that you should not even consider a Medicare supplement until you have first decided which parts of Medicare you will have as, until then, you do not know what gaps there may be.

There are of course gaps in any insurance policy as well as in Medicare and although many of those gaps are usually small, some you may think vital to your own particular health care needs.

The cost of health care today, especially in the United States, is extremely high and so access to good health care is financially out of reach to many, unless of course they have some kind of medical insurance or health care insurance.

Most people, and their families, are covered for most medical expenses by their employer’s group health care plan but as we retire and have no employer, we are left with no health care coverage, or would be if not for Medicare.

As the US government realized this, they introduced Medicare for any retiree that has worked for a minimum of 10 years and is 65 years old or older. They do not provide full coverage for free but they do at least ensure that between the 4 parts, all aspects are covered at cheaper rates than private health insurance.