As many of you know, the healthcare system in the United States does not provide universal coverage. And that means for most average families, medical expenses can add up pretty quickly -- this is especially so as you get older.
Designed to help older Americans or those with certain disabilities or conditions access affordable medical services, Medicare is a program that seeks to ease their burden by offering coverage on most, if not all of their healthcare costs. Yet there's a catch: It comes with deductibles. In this blog post, we will walk you through how Medicare deductibles affect how much you have to pay for medical services.
What Is Original Medicare?
Before we get to deductibles, let us run you through the basics of Medicare. The Medicare program is divided into four Parts. But Parts A and B are the two most essential components. They are also known as Original Medicare.
Medicare Part A (or hospital insurance) covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, skilled nursing facility care, and some home health care services. Most people do not pay a premium for Part A, as they have already paid into the system with payroll taxes from their working years.
Medicare Part B (or medical insurance) covers medically necessary services, such as doctor visits, outpatient care, preventative services, and medical equipment. Part B is optional, but requires a monthly premium payment.
Both Part A and Part B cover a wide range of medical services. But they do not cover everything. For example, they do not cover prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, or long-term care. For those types of services, individuals can purchase additional coverage with private insurance plans known as Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plans.
How Medicare Deductibles Impacts Your Bill
So what is a Medicare deductible? Simply put, it's the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket for you healthcare expenses before Medicare starts covering it. For example, let's say your Medicare Part A deductible is $1,000. If you get admitted to the hospital, you would have to pay the first $1,000 of your hospital bills before Medicare kicks in and pays for the rest.
Think of it as an investment in your health. By paying your deductible, you're getting access to the full benefits of Medicare and ensuring that you have access to the care you need.
But note that deductibles can change each year. So if you have Medicare, you'll want to make sure you're staying current with your plan so you know exactly how much you'll be paying.
What Is the Medicare Deductible for 2023?
The Medicare Part B deductible is $226 per year for 2023. That means that once you've paid $226 for any expenses covered by Medicare Part B, you won't have to pay that deductible again for the rest of the year. Some services, like preventive screenings, may be covered without any out-of-pocket costs.
For Part A, the deductible for 2023 is $1,600 per benefit period. A benefit period starts when you are admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility and ends after 60 days of not receiving any inpatient care. If you are admitted to a hospital more than once in the same benefit period, you won't have to pay the deductible again.
What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
A Medicare Advantage Plan (or Medicare Part C) is a type of health insurance plan offered by private insurance companies. These plans are an alternative to Original Medicare (Part A and B). They typically provide additional benefits and services. But it varies from plan to plan.
Now, they're required to offer the same benefits that Original Medicare does. But they may also offer things such as prescription drug coverage, dental and vision care, and wellness programs. Some plans may also include coverage for hearing aids, gym memberships, and other health-related services.
Medicare Advantage Plans typically have a network of doctors and healthcare providers that participants must use in order to receive coverage for medical services. Some plans may also require prior authorization for certain preventive services, or medications.
There are several different types of Advantage Plans out there, including Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), and Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans. Each type of plan has different rules and regulations regarding coverage and provider networks. It's important to review the plan details carefully before enrolling.
In order to be eligible for a Medicare Part C Plan, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B and live in the plan's service area. Some plans may also have other requirements, such as certain chronic health conditions.
Overall, Medicare Advantage Plans can be a good option for those looking for additional benefits and services beyond what is covered by Original Medicare.
What Is The Medicare Part C Deductible?
Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance companies. So the deductibles would vary by plan and may not apply to all services.
Maybe you're thinking about enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Make sure to review its details to understand what deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance requirements may apply. They may be different to what you are currently used to. Additionally, once you're enrolled, make sure to regularly check your plan's costs and benefits. That way you can make sure the plan continues to meet your healthcare needs and fits your budget.
How Do I Find The Best Medicare Plan For Me?
Trying to find the best Medicare plan may seem difficult. There is a lot to navigate. But there are a few steps you can follow to help you make the right decision.
If you are looking for an experienced Medicare agent that has your best interest in mind, EASY Insurance Plans will be happy to take the time and discuss your Medicare options.
By carefully evaluating your options, you can find the best Medicare plan for your needs and budget, and make your healthcare journey easy and hassle-free.