Medicare is a federal government sponsored health insurance program. The program is aimed at providing health care services to elderly people above 65 years of age. However, age is not a bar in certain exceptions such as individuals suffering from kidney failures that requires a transplant or dialysis. Some people feel that this plan be reviewed forthwith as the cost of health care is accelerating day by day which may result in bankruptcy of this program.
Medicare plan is sub categorized in four parts covering different aspects.
Part A: This part covers only aspect of hospital insurance. It caters only for expenses on account of hospitalization or stays at nursing home. In that, you will be provided with nursing home facilities only if you have been diagnosed of the medical problem during your hospitalization or cause for nursing home stay is same that of your stay at hospital.
Part B: Coverage for doctor’s fees, medical equipment’s (such as walkers, wheelchairs, canes etc) and outpatient hospital care are included in this part. You have the freedom to visit a doctor or hospital of your choice or a community health center, provided that these providers are participants of Medicare program. Your benefit coverage from Medicare may change depending upon the place from where you obtain the medical treatment. In all cases, your out of pocket medical expenses will decrease gradually with Medicare.
Part C: It is an option that provides ability to Medicare beneficiaries to acquire their Medicare benefits by allowing them to obtain medical care from self chosen indemnity insurance plan or private HMO. You are allowed this in lieu of the benefits from plans under Part A & B.
Part D: This part represents the recent reforms in Medicare. These reforms are aimed at resolving the financial problems faced by the senior citizens. This part came in effect with effect from 01 Jan 2006. This part has been introduced based on the provisions of Medicare Drug: Improvement and Modernization Act. The basic goal of this act is to provide some fixed financial help to senior citizens for obtaining medications in the era when the medical treatments are becoming costly day by day. It is also known as prescription drug plan. A senior must enroll himself separately in this plan apart from Medicare. These plans are maintained by private insurance companies on the subsidies received from government. Irrespective of health conditions and income any senior who is participant of Medicare can get coverage under this plan. However, coverage and plans depends upon your income, drugs you use and cost of drugs.
Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance
This is supplementary health insurance plan to cover the aspects which are not covered by other types of Medicare plans. In private insurance companies these plans are referred to as Medi-gap plans. Such plans cover medical expenses like prescription coverage, expenses on preventive health care, deductibles of other types of Medicare, co-payments, extra days of hospital care (not covered under other health insurance) and even emergency care you obtained through foreign travel. List of companies that offer supplemental insurance is available on internet or you can consult an insurance provider on this aspect.