Medicare is a health insurance program offered through the United States government to people who are at least 65 years old. Additionally, some younger people with disabilities may be able to receive Medicare health insurance plans. Medicare is run by the federal government and provides coverage for hospitalization, physician services, and prescription drugs. Here's everything you need to know about Medicare health insurance plans so you can sign up with confidence when the time comes.

Who Is Eligible for Medicare?

If you are 65 years of age or older, you are eligible for Medicare. Actually, you can sign up three months prior to turning 65. Additionally, if you are under 65 but have a disability, you may also be eligible to enroll in a Medicare insurance policy.

What Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare health insurance has multiple parts. The Department of Health and Human Services lists these parts as follows:

  • Medicare Part A covers inpatient care. This includes an overnight stay in a nursing home, hospital, medical center, or hospice center, as well as home health care.
  • Medicare Part B covers outpatient care. Services range from preventative doctor's visits to ambulance services and durable medical goods.
  • Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. This is something you can pay out-of-pocket for to supplement your Medicare policy.
  • Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs not covered under Parts A or B. Medicare Part D is also an out-of-pocket expense.

Do You Need Supplemental Insurance?

Whether or not you need supplemental insurance depends on your health and the type of coverage you want and need. Many people choose to supplement their Medicare health insurance plans with a Medigap policy or a prescription drug plan. Medigap policies are offered by private insurance companies and can help you 'bridge the gap' in your coverage by helping pay for out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and coinsurance. Drug plans can help you pay for the cost of your prescription medications.

When Can You Get Medicare?

You can enroll in Medicare online, through your local social security office, or by contacting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, if you work with a social worker or a health care advocate, they can assist you with this process.

Whether you are approaching retirement age or already receiving Social Security benefits, it's important to understand your healthcare options as you approach 65. While having benefits like Medicare health insurance plans helps you budget for your health care in retirement, it is important to understand all the working pieces in order to create the best plan for you.

Reach out to a service like Medicare For Cheap LLC to find out more.