What is Medicare and what does it cover? Learn what parts A, B, and C mean and how they can help to provide affordable healthcare services and reduce prescription expenses.

Statistics indicate that there are over 23.9 million people in America who use Medicare. That’s a significant number when you look at the fact that 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. By the year 2030, studies suggest that there will be at least 70 million senior citizens who will use this plan to ease the burden associated with prescription and healthcare expenses. Based on these statistics, it’s easy to understand how important it is to know what this government-funded program is, and what it can cover. So, what exactly is Medicare? Essentially, it’s a federally funded health program that caters to senior citizens over 65 and for people with disabilities. People who are eligible for this type of plan have four options:

  • Part A (Hospital Insurance)
  • Part B (Medical Insurance)
  • Advantage
  • Supplements

Medicare Parts A & B

A & B plans cover 80% of your healthcare-related cost, leaving you with a copay of 20%. Unlike some private health plans, there is no cap on how much you could pay in regard to that 20% co-op fee. As such, there is no out-of-pocket max. If you have worked for a minimum of 10 years and paid into social security as you were working, you can get part A, free of cost. As far as part B goes, it can cost anywhere from $100 -$330 per month. The amount you will have to pay to get part B is primarily based on the amount of income that you make. As such, it could change on a yearly basis depending on your taxable income.

Advantage

As mentioned, you still have to pay a co-pay of 20% with Medicare, but if you can’t afford your co-pay, you have several options at your disposal. Advantage is one of the best at your disposal. Advantage plans are essentially private party insurers that offer policies that can cover prescription drug costs, out-of-pocket max, and co-pays.

Supplement

As its name implies, Supplement covers expenses that Medicare and Advantage plans don’t. The cost of Supplement plans depends on your age, region, and gender. Supplement plans provide an added benefit of more coverage than Advantage plans. For instance, with a Supplement plan, you would be able to see any doctor with little to no restrictions, as opposed to being stuck with Advantage’s network of doctors.