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Defining Popular Medicare Insurance Terms
Medicare is a major health insurance program administered by the U.S. Federal government. The main recipients of health coverage through this program include senior citizens, officially defined for these purposes as people of 65 years of age or older, those who are permanently disabled, and other special categories.
Medigap - Health coverage provided to those on Medicare but not directly out of the program. These medical benefits are meant to compensate for Medicare's shortfalls in providing for basic needs.
Hospital Insurance - Referred to as Part A of Medicare Insurance, this area of health coverage is meant to cover the various costs associated with hospital stays, at least for a set period of time.
Medical Insurance - The "B" component of Medicare, this program extends to the medical benefits not provided through the prior area.
Medicare Advantage - The "C" plan of Medicare Insurance, this later revision to the overall program allowed recipients to contract their benefits through private programs. Specified programs will typically be named by this section for health benefits.
Prescription Drug Plans - The "D" area of Medicare Insurance, this aspect of medical coverage is the most recently enacted major change to the U.S.'s major health programs.
Out-of-Pocket - Health care costs not covered by the medical coverage provided by the U.S. government, which accordingly must be paid by the individual out of his or her "pocket." Healthcare programs typically charge added fees, such as premiums and deductibles, which are generally included under the catchall of "out-of-pocket" costs.
People need health insurance to cover the costs of medical care. Whether it is doctor visits, prescriptions, or treatment, it all costs money. To ensure people are getting medical attention, in 1965, Medicare was signed into law, allowing anyone over the age of 65 the option of signing up, regardless of income. Those that have a disability are also able to join. Eligibility was created to include the elderly and the disabled to ensure these groups are getting the care they need, which was often not being provided by private insurers. A lot of the time these groups need special treatment, like home care or a nursing home, and in the past, people were going bankrupt trying to meet expenses. Now, those with this type of healthcare coverage are provided a list of physicians they can go to. There are different “parts” to Medicare, which focus on the different areas of healthcare benefits. Part A deals with hospital insurance benefits, breaking down the requirements for coverage, including length of stay and type of care received. Part B is focused on medical insurance that helps pay for some things not covered by A, including providers, like doctor and nursing services, as well as x-rays, laboratory tests, and others. Part C was added in 1997 and stands for “Medicare+Choice.” It gives beneficiaries the option to seek private health insurance plans, which covers a set amount. Part D refers to prescription drugs. It was put into effect in 2006, and is available to anyone with Part A or B. The best part of Medicare is that it makes it easy to make a claim, as opposed to private insurance, which has more requirements to meet to get coverage.