Elders And Medical Care
Medicare is health insurance coverage for those over the age of 65, under the age of 65 with specific disabilities and any person with permanent kidney failure. To be eligible, you must have entered in the United States in a way recognized by law and lived for 5 years. The need for a medical program for seniors became apparent in the 1950s, but it was not until 1965 when Congress passed the laws that created Medicare.
Medicare is made up of two parts:
Medicare Part A - Pays for care if you are a patient in a hospital, nursing home, hospice and, under certain conditions, for care in your home. You pay for this through your taxes while you are working so most people do not need to contribute to medicare.
Medicare Part B - had a standard monthly premium of $96.40 in 2008. This part helps pay for doctors services and outpatient care. It also pays for flu shots and other preventative services.
For the first seven months after your 65th birthday, there is a period where enrolling in Medicare is free. After this enrollment period, it may cost to enroll. Those covered by Medicare are called beneficiaries. Medicare will pay for most of their health care, but not all. That means it will cover most serious medical conditions, those in which the patient will usually recover from. Medicare does not cover the cost of care given to a patient at home, in a nursing facility, for those with recurring disability or longtime illness.
Medicare also provides Advantage Plans, although it is not available in every state. These plans offer prescription programs to the beneficiaries. Specific details depend on the program you choose and your eligibility.
Signing up for Medicare is very simple, but there are different plans and enrollment periods. If you are receiving Social Security benefits before you turn 65, you will be enrolled in Part A and Part B automatically the month you turn 65. You will receive your Medicare card in the mail three months before your birthday.
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