In 2010, Medicare, a health insurance program funded by the government, is expected to account for 12.5%, or 452 billion dollars, of the federal budget. People who are over 65 or those with some disabilities qualify for the program. The plan is divided into 2 categories: the Original Medicare plan and the Medicare Advantage Plan. Sub-categories under the plans are called Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D.
This plan is basically hospital insurance. It covers blood transfusions, inpatient care in nursing facilities and hospital stays. It does not cover long term care. Part A will only cover services that are deemed medically necessary.
This coverage includes necessary doctor services, laboratory work, outpatient and other treatments that Part A does not cover. Coverage for physical and occupational therapy services is expanded in Part B. This plan does require a premium.
Part C is a combination of Parts A and B. Private insurance companies provide the coverage. The Medicare Advantage Plan will have networks in which the patient will have to choose hospitals and doctors. Prescription drug coverage is included in Plan C where it is not in Parts A and B. Part C usually costs less than the Original Plan and offers more benefits. The plan’s enrollment grew from 5.4 million to 8.2 million in 2007. 19% of Medicare subscribers choose Plan C for the health insurance needs. Many consider it to be the best Medicare plan.
Part D is a prescription drug plan provided by private insurance companies. Parts A and B can be combined with Plan D. However, if the patient is interested in prescription drug coverage, enrollment should be completed as soon as the patient is eligible to avoid paying penalty. A monthly premium is paid for this plan.
Medicare can seem very complicated and sometimes confusing. Research and obtain information in order to find the best Medicare plan for your needs.