Monday, November 21, 2011
Deciphering Medicare Eligibility
Questions arise all the time about Medicare. Eligibility, cost and coverage are the three topics of conversation that are talked about the most. Eligibility is a topic all in its own. Most people are under the assumption that the only requirements to qualify for Medicare benefit is that they have turned sixty-five. That however is not the case. This article will help layout guidelines on eligibility so that it is easy to determine if you fall under the guidelines to qualify for the Medicare benefits and Medigap supplement insurance.
The first group of people we will look into is the group of adults that are sixty-five and older. Sixty-five is a qualifying age however there are other requirements that must be met to receive Medicare aid from our government. It is a must that you are a United States citizen or legal resident. You must also have proof that you have lived within the United States for at least five years. It is also important to note that you receive Medicare from working at least ten years in Medicare covered employment.
If you find you meet all three of these guidelines it is most likely that just prior to your sixty-fifth birthday you will receive a Medicare card and packet in the mail. This will detail what Medicare is, what it offers to you and how you start using it for your health care needs. You are automatically given both Medicare part A and Medicare part B. Part B can be declined as it is optional and does require a monthly premium.
If you are under sixty-five you can also qualify for Medicare benefits under certain circumstances. One is if you have End Stage Renal Disease. Kidney disease does allow you to qualify for Medicare benefits if you are under sixty-five. Another reason qualifications for Medicare are considered under sixty-five is if Social Security Disability Income has been received for twenty-four months.
Medicare is not the perfect coverage. It will not cover all of your medical expenses. This is why it is so important when you finally do qualify for coverage that you look into different Medigap supplemental insurance plans. Medicare does not cover prescriptions and does require you pay premiums and co-pays. Additional coverage through the supplemental insurance will help to fill in gaps left by Medicare coverage.
There are multiple items that Medicare part A and part B do not cover. Below is a sample list of items that are not covered and that additional coverage should be sought out if they are important for your well being both financial and health.
· Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine is not covered. Acupuncture is a treatment that works through the insertion of thin needles strategically placed throughout the body to help cure ailments.
· Dental care is an incredibly important part of the aging process and is not part of Medicare. It is advisable if your dental history has been anything less than stellar that you seek out additional insurance to fill the gap left by Medicare.
· Chiropractic care is also something that many older people rely on that is not covered. Often time’s doctors of chiropractics will offer discounted rates to seniors. This is something to think about however when seeking out gap insurance if your doctor is not one that does.
Obviously the list of covered versus not covered is detailed in great lengths through handbooks, websites and pamphlets. Supplemental insurance providers are a great source of knowledge as they can review your past history with you and based on the pattern that has developed guide you into the right combination of plans. This way you are not purchasing additional coverage that is not ever going to be utilized.