Some of the best medical coverage in the world is Medicare insurance in 2018 and it is available to any senior aged 65 or older. Not everyone will pay the same price, nor will everyone benefit from the same plans. We want to discuss those aspects of Medicare with you and help you to figure out if Medicare or one of its plans is right foray.
Everybody has different needs, and we can’t just point to a medical insurance plan and say that it will be the right choice for everyone. You need to find a medical coverage plan that suits you and that is tailored to meet your needs. With all the choices out there (many of which we will cover here), you should be able to find a good coverage plan for you and save money on healthcare every year.
But what Medicare Options are there?
There are lots of different medical plans and variations on all those plans, but there is only one Original Medicare. This is the most basic of all the Medicare plans. Medicare sells it, and you’ll have to buy it through them if you want this coverage. However, some of the same coverage is included in the plans sold by other insurance companies, though they can’t sell you the Original Medicare coverage alone.
The basic plan has two parts known as Part A and Part B. Together these cover a host of medical expenses, and you can save tons of money on the most basic medical care with this plan, in many cases.
That coverage includes cover for common medical costs, such as x-rays, preventative care, nursing care, hospital room expenses and laboratory testing. It also covers you for mental health treatments, hospice care and much more. You should look at Original Medicare and what it is offering, comparing the price to what you pay out of pocket or for some other insurance plan for the same types of expenses.
Once you do that, you may see that it is a good choice for you, and we highly recommend it for most seniors. If you don’t think that Original Medicare really applies to you, then you may not need medical coverage that is as robust as what Medicare offers at all. If the plan seems too expensive for you, then you may benefit from one of the many price reduction options Medicare and the US government have made available.
Applying for Medicare Plans in 2018
If you just want the basic plan we just talked about, then you can get that by applying through Medicare, specifically through their website. If you want one of the many other Medicare plans, such as Part D, Part C or Supplement plans, then you have to go to another insurance company. The private insurance companies sell those kinds of coverage plans, and they do so under Medicare’s regulation.
Medicare insurance isn’t available to everyone all year long. There are only certain times of year that you are going to be able to apply and be approved for the plan you want. Of course, there are exceptions, but most people will only get approval when signing up during these preset times.
The most common time that people choose to sign up for Medicare plans is right around their 65th birthday. That’s when they first become eligible, and they can sign up from the three months before to the three months after their birthday.
You can also sign up from the first of the year to the end of March, during what is known as general enrollment. This enrollment period allows you to apply for a plan that will take effect in July of that year.
For some of the Medicare plans, you can sign up during Open Enrollment, which occurs around the end of the year and last for about two months. During Open Enrollment, you are guaranteed to be approved for whichever plan you apply for.
The Cost of Medicare
Your insurance costs with Medicare vary depending on which plan you choose. The cost can vary depending on how long you worked before as well. For instance, those who worked 40 quarters (or 10 years) and paid taxes during that time are entitled to get Medicare Part A for free. They still have to pay a deductible on Part B. Part A and Part B are combined in Original Medicare.
On top of a yearly deductible, you also have to pay a monthly premium for any of the Medicare plans you sign up for. This varies based on who you get your plan from and what medical and financial conditions you are dealing with.
You also need to pay co-payments, which are usually due when you receive medical services. So, you may have one copay for inpatient expenses and one for outpatient expenses. You could also have a copay for prescription drugs, if you have a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
Even with Medicare coverage plans, you still have some financial responsibilities for your healthcare costs. You are expected to pay some the cost on your own, but how much you have to pay depends on a few different factors, and you should check to see if you qualify for reduced rates before you start worrying about having to pay the full cost for some of your medical bills. There are ways to cut your costs beyond just choosing the right plan.
Of course, it is very important to choose the right plan for you. You not only want to choose the one that covers you well and meets your healthcare needs but that is also affordable. You should give yourself plenty of time to look through all your choice and ensure that you are choosing a plan that will work well for you for the coming year. You may need to change your Medicare insurance 2018 plan next year and reevaluate what your needs are at that point, but you’ll want to focus on just one year of insurance at a time.