First things first: what is Medicare? Medicare is a federal health insurance program that pays for several covered health services. Generally, you’re eligible for Medicare if you (or your spouse) worked for at least 10 years and contributed taxes to fund your Medicare benefits, are 65 years or older, and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Choosing the right plan is not only important, it’s personal. To sort things out, it is best to know all your options. When it comes to Medicare, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option. So, what are the differences between Medicare Parts, A, B, C, and D?
- Part A is hospital coverage.
- Part B is medical coverage – you must pay a premium each month.
- Part C combines your hospital, medical, and typically your drug coverage into one complete plan. Think of Part C as all-in-one coverage.
- Part D is prescription drug coverage only.
If you are still planning to work and not retired by the time you turn 65, there are still a few things you need to know. You can continue to work and delay Medicare by staying on your employer’s health plan. Even if you plan on working past 65, it’s a good idea to verify your coverage status and avoid any lifelong penalties.
Once you are on Medicare, you can no longer contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA). However, anything you saved in your HAS can be used towards qualifying medical expenses for the rest of your life.
If you are receiving Social Security benefits prior to age 65, your Medicare card will automatically arrive in the mail about 90 days before your 65th birthday. Remember, every situation is unique. Talk to an expert to walk you through your options.
Need expert advice on Medicare? Join KUTV and Intermountain Healthcare’s Ask the Expert program on November 12 when experts from the SelectHealth will discuss health insurance and Medicare. Tips and suggestions will be offered throughout the day on Channel 2 during the news and other broadcasts.
If you have questions, SelectHealth will be answering your phone calls from noon to 5:30 p.m. at 1-877-908-0680. You can also submit questions via Facebook and Twitter using #kutvasktheexpert. The SelectHealth Answer Team can also help during the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare from October 15 to December 7 by calling 1-855-442-9940.