Medicare is federal health insurance designed to assist the nation’s elderly to meet hospital, medical, and other health costs. Medicare is available for people 65 or older, some younger people with disabilities, people with End-Stage Renal Disease. What are the parts of Medicare?
The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.
Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)
Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines). Medicare Costs
Most people don’t pay a Part A premium because they paid Medicare taxes while you working and paid taxes. Everyone must pay a premium for Medicare Part B. In 2024 , the Medicare Part B premium is $226 per month but this can increase based on your income. If your modified adjusted gross income as reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago is above a certain amount, you’ll pay the standard premium amount and an
Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). IRMAA is an extra charge added to your premium. How do I enroll in Medicare?
When you turn 65, if you are receiving Social Security benefits,
you will be enrolled in Medicare Part A, which covers hospital costs, and Part B, which covers doctor visits. If you want Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage you’ll need to enroll yourself — that’s not automatic.
If you’re not receiving
Social Security benefits, you’ll sign up through the Social Security Administration website. To avoid permanent penalties, you should do so within the seven-month period around your 65th birthday (which includes the three months before the month you turn 65, your birthday month, and the three months following your birthday month).
Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) can be purchased during the six-month Medigap enrollment period, which begins the month you turn 65 and are enrolled in Part B of Medicare. The private insurers that offer Medigap plans must accept you during that period. There is no guarantee they will sell you a Medigap plan otherwise.