According to a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in March 2022, there were 63.8 million people enrolled in Medicare Parts A and/or B. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for young people with certain disabilities and those who are 65 or older. There are many good reasons to enroll in Medicare, including covering basic wellness services and expensive medical emergencies.
Caring Healthcare in Columbia, South Carolina provides a variety of home healthcare services, including short- and long-term care needs. We began providing home healthcare services in 1995 and remain a locally owned and operated company. We have the experience and expertise to provide the care that you need.
In this article, we’ll explain some of the reasons that it’s a good idea to enroll in Medicare.
Why is Medicare Important?
In 1965, the United States government established the Medicare program to address the increasing costs of healthcare for older adults. Only about 50% had health insurance and many were having to use their retirement savings to cover medical expenses. Due to the Medicare program, approximately 1% of individuals over the age of 65 were uninsured in 2019.
Here are a few reasons that Medicare is important:
Medical emergencies can be expensive
Common medical emergencies can be expensive. Medicare can help cover the costs of these emergencies so that you’re not having to use your retirement savings to cover medical bills.
Preventative care reduces your risk of medical emergencies
Preventative care can keep you healthy or catch issues early when treatment is more affordable. Medicare covers many preventive services including health coaching, routine immunizations, cancer screenings, and more.
Standardized, Regulated Access to Healthcare Services
Since Medicare is a federal program, it is standardized and regulated. This makes it easier for beneficiaries to access care if they are traveling, moving to another state, or just want to switch healthcare providers.
There are several factors involved in determining the cost of Medicare coverage, including the coverage you choose and the services you need. In order to understand what you may pay, you’ll want to consider the premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments.
Your premium is how much you pay every month to keep your coverage active. Medicare offers several parts, each with its own premium- so cost varies based on the coverage options you choose.
Your deductible is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket for covered services before Medicare kicks in. Some services may be 100% covered without a deductible, including preventive and home healthcare services.
Coinsurance is what you pay after your deductible has been met.
Copayments, more commonly called co-pays, are a cost-sharing requirement in some Medicare plans. It is a flat fee, paid upfront for health services and prescriptions.
As you enroll in Medicare, you have several options: Original Medicare (Part A and B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), Part D, and Medicare Supplement.
Medicare Part A is best for individuals who are eligible for premium-free coverage. It covers hospital stays, hospice care, short-term nursing home care, and home healthcare services. Many people can enroll in Part A without a monthly premium.
Anyone who is not eligible for premium-free coverage can choose to pay for it. However, it is important to note that if you pay for Part A, you are required to sign up for Part B. You can just sign up for Part B if you wish.
Medicare Part B is ideal for individuals who are no longer covered under employer-sponsored health insurance. It covers diagnostic and preventive services, including ambulance services and doctor visits. It also covers medical treatments.
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is ideal for eligible adults that do not have employer-sponsored health insurance. Advantage plans are offered through approved private companies and must offer the same amount of coverage as Part A and B. Many times, these plans also cover prescriptions, hearing exams, eye exams, and dental care. Typically, Advantage plans have provider networks, which means you must choose a provider that contracts with the plan.
Medicare Part D is for eligible adults that no longer have employer-sponsored health insurance or prescription coverage through an Advantage plan. It covers the cost of prescription drugs. Medicare does require that plans offer standard coverage but covered medications and out-of-pocket expenses may vary.
Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, is ideal for eligible adults that have Part A and/or B and need financial help. Supplement plans can help cover deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. In most states, these plans are standardized with letters. Cost and coverage vary based on the plan.
Don’t Delay Enrollment in Medicare
Many people delay their decision to enroll in Medicare for a variety of reasons. However, if you are eligible, it’s important that you take advantage of it. After all, medical expenses in general can be expensive- you want something to take up some of that burden. Medicare covers many health services, including preventive and diagnostic services, treatments, hospital stays, and even home healthcare.
If you’re in or near Columbia, SC, consider Caring Healthcare for your home healthcare needs. We’ve been family owned and operated since 1995. Our patients are our first priority. We have the experience and expertise to handle all of your healthcare needs.