Medicare, a federal government program, provided health care insurance to around 60 million American individuals. Of the total number, 52 million are aged 65 and older and 8 million are young disabled people based on the data from the 2019 Medicare Trustees Report. The health insurance program offers four different types of plans for those who are interested in enrolling.
1. Part A and B (Original Medicare). Healthcare providers are paid directly by the government for each service they provide. Part A covers hospital insurance, skilled nursing facilities, and inpatient services. Part B is medical insurance covering outpatient care and services like annual check-ups. To simplify it, Part A is for inpatient/hospital coverage and Part B is for outpatient/medical coverage.
2. Part C (Medicare Advantage). Unlike Original Medicare, Part C is not offered by the government and is offered through private providers approved by Medicare. You also need to be within the geographic area of the plan to get services under the Medicare Advantage Plans and it only allows you to see doctors in the plan’s network. As an alternative to Original Medicare, Medicate Advantage offers a more robust prescription drug cover. There are also other advantages and perks not covered by the Original Medicare such as gym memberships, vision, and dental routine checkups, hearing services, and many more.
3. Part D (Drug Coverage). A prescription drug benefit that is also included in the Medicare Advantage Plan, Part D is often enrolled by original Medicare members. It could be a standalone plan that will augment the limited prescription drug benefits provided by the Original Medicare plan.
Now, after knowing about the health insurance plan of Medicare it is time to take a closer look at what options you have if your plan is expiring soon. In light of Medicare ending soon news, this will also answer the questions of those who are worried about their plans. There are two options to choose from, renewal or change. Essentially, you have two periods for renewing or adjusting your Medicare plan.
4. Fall Open Enrollment. You can stay with the Medicare Advantage and pick up a new plan. Switching from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare and adding Plan D prescription drug coverage is possible. The enrollment period is from October 15 through December 7, 2019. Changes take effect on January 1, 2020.
5. SEP (Special Enrollment Period). When you separate from a qualified group health plan you will enter the Medicare special enrollment period. It is an eight-month period that begins after the group health plan insurance ends. A late enrollment penalty will not be paid if you meet eh qualifications for signing up during the special enrollment period. There are also other types of SEP where you can make changes in your policy. The enrollment period is from December 8, 2019, through February 28, 2020. The changes will then take effect on different dates depending on the date the change is made. Changes made by December 31 will take effect on January 1, January 31 changes will take effect on February 1, and so on.