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Does Medicare Cover All Health Care Expenses?

written by: Eric Stolze•edited by: Jason C. Chavis•updated: 3/2/2011

Do you understand what kinds of medical expenses Medicare covers automatically? Do you know which parts of Medicare requires enrollment by a retiree in order to receive coverage? Some helpful hints will provide you with needful information about Medicare.

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    What is Medicare?

    Medicare health insurance coverage is one of the most commonly used types of health insurance. Medicare is a health insurance program that is run by the federal government and it covers Americans who are age sixty-five or older. Medicare coverage has four parts, A, B, D, and C. Some disabled people younger than age sixty-five can qualify for Medicare coverage.

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    What Does Medicare Cover?

    Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance coverage. This part pays for in-patient care in a hospital, skilled nursing health services, durable medical equipment, home healthcare services, and end of life hospice care. A Retiree who is eligible for Social Security is automatically eligible for Medicare Part A, because the premiums were paid by the retiree when he was working. Premiums for Part A were withheld from a retiree’s pay by his employer along with social security tax.

    Medicare Part B is called medical insurance coverage. This part covers doctor’s services, medical laboratory tests, hospital outpatient care, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. A retiree does not automatically receive Part B benefits. Retirees need to enroll in Part B if they want it. Part B premiums are deducted from a recipient’s Social Security check. Medicare Part B usually covers about eighty percent of a recipient’s approved charges. The remaining coinsurance and deductible are payable by the retiree. Some retirees buy private Medigap insurance to cover the Part B deductible and coinsurance that Medicare does not pay.

    Part D covers a retiree’s prescription drug expenses. This coverage is optional, and a retiree will need to enroll in Part D if he wants it. Premiums for Part D are deducted from a recipient’s Social Security, just like Part B premiums. Medicare Part D is administered by contracted insurance companies for each state.

    Part C is an optional Medicare coverage that is often called the Medicare Advantage Plan. Part C is administered by private health insurance companies. These private insurers cover parts A, B, and D much like an HMO. Part C providers can offer added benefits not covered my Medicare, such as dental and vision benefits. Participants in Part C need to use providers in the private insurer’s network.

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Types of Health Insurance

Get some useful information about different types of health insurance. Be informed before you make important health insurance choices.
  1. Is an Indemnity Health Insurance Plan a Good Idea?
  2. Should I Sign Up for a High Deductible Health Plan?
  3. Financial Risks of Being Uninsured
  4. Does Medicare Cover All Health Care Expenses?