Medicare and Long Term Care Insurance
Learn a little about insurance.
Medicare is a Federal government program that provides health insurance. You're eligible to join Medicare if you are:
Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage), Medicare Supplement Insurance and prescription drug plans (Part D), are operated by private insurance companies that are contracted by the government. The government pays a fixed fee to your plan for your care, and your plan then pays your doctors and hospitals.
Medicare Part A covers inpatient care in a hospital, rehabilitation services in a skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation hospital, hospice care, home healthcare (under certain conditions), and inpatient care in a religious nonmedical healthcare institution.
Medicare Part B is an optional component that helps cover medically necessary services like doctor's visits, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and many preventive services like flu shots. You have to pay a monthly premium to be enrolled in these Medicare services. But Part B is heavily subsidized, so unless you have very good private insurance, it almost always makes sense to choose this option.
Medicare Part C offers an alternative to original Medicare called the Medicare Advantage program, a collection of health plans that combine Parts A and B services (usually with Part D prescription drug coverage) in their benefit packages. The plans are offered by private companies with Medicare approval. They must cover all the services in original Medicare but may also offer extra coverage, such as vision, dental, hearing, and health and wellness programs.
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. You pay a monthly premium, which changes every year. If you receive Social Security benefits, your Medicare premium is deducted from the check.
Medicare supplemental insurance, also called Medigap, is a type of policy you can purchase separately that can help you with the co-payments and deductibles not covered by Medicare. These plans are offered by private insurance companies. There are many options available. You can compare Medigap policies at www.medicare.gov.
Long Term Care Insurance. According to the terms of your policy it may cover what medicare and medigap will not. Find out if this option is no longer practical because of expense or health. Policies have many different options. Study it carefully to find out what it covers; what is the elimination period; does it have inflation protection; nonforfeiture coverage; what if I develop alzheimer's after I'm covered? Newer Life Insurance policies may include some long term care in return for a reduction in ultimate death benefit.
Medicare and Medigap policies generally don't cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.
The best sites for answers: Click
Medicare.gov The official government site.
Compare Medigap policies How to compare medicare supplemental insurance plans.
You can apply for Medicare if you qualify online at SocialSecurity.gov
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