At the age of 65, you become eligible to receive Medicare benefits. If you qualify as per the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically enrolled into Medicare – Part A, that is. There are some decisions you may have to take in order to make the best use of Medicare and keep your health insurance costs low. In order to take these decisions, you should know about Medicare in detail. You can get all the information from government websites or the websites of private insurance companies who sell Medicare plans.
Basics About Medicare
There are four parts of Medicare – Part A, B, C and D. The first two parts are sold by the federal government directly, Part C and D have to be bought from private insurance companies. Part A and B make up Original Medicare as Medicare started with these two parts.
Part A – covers the hospitalization costs, hospice care, skilled nursing care and some home health care.
Part B – covers the outpatient costs like doctor visits, lab tests, medical equipment and preventive care.
Part C – also known as Medicare Advantage, is an alternative to Original Medicare from private insurers. It covers all the benefits of Part A and Part B and also offers some extra benefits.
Part D – covers the cost of prescription drugs. This part can be taken with Original Medicare as a separate drug plan.
Medicare Options from UnitedHealthcare
Private insurers can sell only Medicare Advantage, Part D or Medicare Supplemental plans. UnitedHealthcare is one such company which offers very good options for Medicare plans. Plan availability varies by area, so, when you are shopping for UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans you can search for the plans they have in your area and accordingly decide which one to choose. UnitedHealthcare carries all types of Medicare plans which can be sold privately.
Medicare Advantage Plans
These plans cover all hospitalization, outpatient and doctor visits, lab tests and medical equipment costs just like Original Medicare. Only hospice care costs are covered by Medicare Part A. Some Medicare Advantage plans also have prescription drug benefits included with them. You have to keep paying the Part B premiums even if you take Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage. Some offer extra benefits like, hearing aids, vision and dental care which are also covered by these plans. Medicare Advantage plans can be HMO,PPO,POS or PFFS type. Medicare Advantage plans have a maximum out-of-pocket expense limit. Once you reach this amount, the plan covers all services completely. UnitedHealthcare offers a wide selection of Medicare Advantage plans to suit the needs of different individuals.
Medicare Part D Plans
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Part D prescription drug plan help you to cover the costs of prescription generic and brand name drugs. This drug benefit is not included under Original Medicare. So, if you are getting your Medicare benefits through Part A and Part B or your Medicare Advantage plan does not cover prescription drugs, you need to buy a part D plan. You can save a lot of money when you get your prescription filled at network pharmacies.
Medicare Supplement Plans
When you use Original Medicare, a part of the expenses has to be borne by you – deductibles, coinsurance and copays. You can buy a Medicare Supplement Plan to cover these additional costs.
Medicare Special Needs Plan
UnitedHealthcare also offers Medicare Special Needs Plan for people who have special or additional medical needs or have requirement for some financial assistance.
AARP and UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare issues Medicare plans which are bought through AARP by its members. These plans can be found under the brand name AARP Medicare Complete.