Medicare has been around for quite a while now. It was signed into law in 1965 to provide health coverage and increase financial security for seniors. Since Medicare’s beginning, it has been a program with many rules, parts, and options. With that said, there may be a few things you never knew about Medicare.
Medicare Does Not Cover Everything
Medicare does not cover everything. For example, Medicare only covers 80% of your Medicare-approved outpatient costs. Therefore, you would pay a 20% coinsurance for your medical services without a cap. Medigap supplemental plans help fill in the gaps in Original Medicare and are sold by private companies. Medicare Advantage plans are separate from Medicare but are an additional coverage option you can purchase to help cover some out-of-pocket costs.
There are Several Parts to Medicare
Unlike the health insurance you likely have had your entire life, Medicare is not a one-stop insurance shopping experience. There are several parts of Medicare; some are mandatory, some are optional.
Let’s start with Original Medicare, also known as Part A and Part B. Part A is your inpatient hospital coverage, and Part B is your outpatient medical services. It is mandatory to sign up for Part A once you are enrolled in Social Security.
Another part of Medicare is Medicare Advantage plans. These are plans offered by private insurance companies, and you would opt to receive both your Part A and Part B coverage from that carrier. These plans set a limit on the amount you’ll pay out-of-pocket for covered services.
In addition, you can pick up a Medigap plan if you do not want a Medicare Advantage plan. A Medigap plan helps fill the gaps in Original Medicare. It helps pay for remaining costs like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Private insurance companies sell Medigap plans.
If you need help with prescription drug costs, you can pick up a Part D prescription drug plan. Part D plans help cover the cost of prescription drugs, lower your expenses, and even protect against higher costs.
A Higher Income Costs You More
Did you know that earning a higher income can make your Medicare premium amount cost more? Most people will pay the standard premium amount; however, it all depends on your income each year. For 2022, if you earn more than $91,000 as an individual or more than $182,000 as a couple, you will have an increase in your Part B and Part D premiums. If you make under that amount, you will pay the standard premium.
Medicare Doesn’t Cover Vision, Hearing, or Dental
Most people do not know that Medicare does not cover most dental care. Part A will pay for specific dental services if you’re in a hospital-like emergency or a complex dental procedure. However, treatments like cleanings, tooth extractions, fillings, and dentures are not covered.
Getting hearing treatments covered by Medicare is also a challenge. Medicare will not cover hearing exams or hearing aids. Medicare also does not cover eyeglasses, contact lenses, or routine eye exams. There are insurance plans that offer dental, vision, and hearing plans to help cover these gaps.
Medicare Doesn’t Cover Travel Abroad
Original Medicare does not cover you when you travel abroad outside the U.S. and its territories. However, you can still have options for when you travel abroad. Medigap plans can help pick up some of the costs of medical emergencies when traveling in a foreign country.
Medicare has many parts to it and can be a confusing topic. In this article, we discussed how Medicare does not cover everything, specifically not travel abroad or vision, hearing and dental, the different parts of Medicare, and how higher-income costs you more in premiums. Remember these various topics about Medicare when they pop up, and you need to make a Medicare decision.