With so many opinions and so much information surrounding Medicare, it’s important you weigh out your options. The first step in doing so would be gaining a better understanding of what Medicare is and what that might mean for your personal retirement and financial situation.
Medicare is a federal program designed to subsidize healthcare services for those 65 and older, although certain exceptions are made for those younger who meet certain criteria and those with particular illnesses.1 This program is divided into four categories, or “Parts:” A, B, C, and D.
Medicare Part A coverage is intended to cover inpatient hospital, hospice, home health, and nursing facility care. Generally, most Americans receive Part A for free as long as they’ve paid into it with their payroll taxes over the span of their working lives.
This is an extensive list of services from doctor’s visits to cancer treatment but can basically be categorized as doctor visits and tests.2 This isn’t a required part of Medicare to enroll in as long as you have another qualified plan from a different source, like your employer or spouse.3
Part C of Medicare is widely known as “Medicare Advantage,” and is essentially an alternative to your traditional coverage that includes Parts A and B. Medicare Part C can be provided by certain private insurance companies who are approved to offer Medicare coverage.4
The last part of Medicare covers prescription drugs and is completely optional. Since this can be included in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, there are several private insurance companies who offer this type of coverage. You may need to meet a yearly deductible before Part D begins to coverage drugs costs – this is all dependent on what plan you go with.
While Medicare can seem like a daunting topic, it’s important to know that you have options! Speak with a financial professional in your area to begin exploring what Medicare options make sense for your personal needs and goals. If you’d like to explore more on Medicare and retirement, attend an ARI course in your area!
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