Medicare is a Federal health insurance program that was established in 1965 to provide affordable health coverage for Americans who are 65 years of age or older, as well as some younger people with certain disabilities and medical conditions. Medicare is funded through payroll taxes, premiums, and government funding, and it covers a wide range of healthcare services, including hospital care, physician services, prescription drugs, and more.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at who is eligible for Medicare, what benefits are provided, and how to enroll in the program.
Who is Eligible for Medicare?
There are several groups of people who are eligible for Medicare, including:
- People Who Are 65 Years of Age or Older
Most people become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65 years old, regardless of their income or medical history. They can enroll in Medicare during the initial enrollment period, which begins three months before their 65th birthday and ends three months after their birthday month.
- People with Disabilities
People who have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for at least 24 months are automatically enrolled in Medicare, regardless of their age. They can also enroll in Medicare during the initial enrollment period.
- People with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
People who have ESRD, which is also known as kidney failure, are eligible for Medicare regardless of their age. They can enroll in Medicare at any time, but they must meet certain requirements.
- People with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
People who have ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, are eligible for Medicare regardless of their age. They are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B in the month that their SSDI benefits begin.
What Benefits are Provided by Medicare?
Medicare provides a wide range of healthcare benefits, including:
- Hospital Care
Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care, including room and board, nursing care, and other hospital services.
- Medical Services
Medicare Part B covers outpatient medical services, such as doctor visits, lab tests, X-rays, and preventive care.
- Prescription Drugs
Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage for people who are enrolled in Medicare.
- Other Services
Medicare also covers other services, such as hospice care, skilled nursing care, home health care, and durable medical equipment.
How to Enroll in Medicare?
Enrolling in Medicare is a relatively simple process, and there are several ways to do it.
- Automatic Enrollment
If you are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65. You will receive your Medicare card in the mail about three months before your 65th birthday.
- Enroll Online
If you are not automatically enrolled in Medicare, you can enroll online by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website at www.ssa.gov. The website has a simple enrollment form that you can fill out and submit online.
- Enroll by Phone
You can also enroll in Medicare by calling the Social Security Administration’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. A representative will help you complete your enrollment over the phone.
- Enroll in Person
If you prefer to enroll in person, you can visit your local Social Security office. You can find the location of your nearest office by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website.
Medicare is a valuable healthcare program that provides affordable health coverage to millions of Americans. If you are eligible for Medicare, it’s important to enroll as soon as possible to ensure that you have access to the healthcare services you need. Whether you enroll online, by phone, or in person, the process is easy.
Have more questions about Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans? If the answer is “yes”, then you’re not alone! Read this article next to find answers: Frequently Asked Medicare Supplement Insurance Questions
By David Lasman – “Ask Medicare Dave” | President – Senior Healthcare Team
wwww.SeniorHealthcareTeam.com | 866-333-7340
Selecting the right healthcare plan through Medicare can be overwhelming and downright stressful. Senior Healthcare Team is a nationwide resource that provides guidance and support about Medicare to seniors at no cost to them and helps them to choose the most suitable insurance plan tailored to their specific needs and budget. Our goal is to educate and empower our clients to make the best decisions regarding their healthcare and clear up the confusion of Medicare. At Senior Healthcare Team, we aren’t partial to any one insurance company. Our loyalty is to our clients and our mission is to provide them with the best healthcare options at the very lowest cost.