Understanding Your Medicare Benefits

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Although you might receive an over-sized handbook for understanding your medicare benefits at the beginning of each new year, the sheer volume of information can confuse even the most seasoned recipients. If you are new to medicare benefits, it can be a frustrating and intimidating process. Here are some simple ways to help you understand your medicare benefits.

Three Things to Keep in Mind

1. Know the parts of Medicare

There are three parts of medicare that you may qualify for on the first day of the month you turn sixty five. In spite of the categories they cover, watch for items that are excluded from coverage. For instance, catheter products are not covered under Medicare, unless they are a part of a home health treatment plan that has been approved for coverage. There are many types of durable medical equipment supplies that aren’t covered by Medicare, and these are often labeled as things of convenience, things to make your life outside the home easier, or items that are thrown out after use.

2. Know what you need to pay. As long as you or your spouse have worked for at least ten years within the United States, the Part A Medicare plan is free. Your income will determine the cost of Part B plans, although there is generally a base rate new comers to Medicare will pay. People with higher incomes tend to have an adjustment that increases their rate for services. The Part D costs will depend on what services are selected and can vary according to state location.

3. Know when to supplement coverage. Knowing that Medicare doesn’t cover everything can help you determine if supplemental coverage is necessary. If your income can afford it, Medigap plans can cover some of the expenses not covered by prior plans. Medicare advantage plans are considered a Part C and pay for services instead of the Medicare benefits.

If you still need help understanding your Medicare benefits, you can work with a Medicare advisor for the most current information and advice. Be sure that the services you select are covered or that you have enough income to pay for the care you need.