Did you know that Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to propose a national health insurance plan? Later, President Franklin Roosevelt, his distant cousin, presented a national health insurance plan in an effort to respond to the human needs resulting from the Great Depression. Then, in 1945 President Harry S Truman called for the creation of a national health insurance fund. However, it was not until July 30, 1965, that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the law that led to the establishment of Medicare. And did you know, Former President Harry Truman and his wife Bess were the very first two (2) individuals to enroll in Medicare?
Medicare is a national health insurance plan. It was initially designed for those 65 and older, and now incorporates those with permanent disabilities. Original Medicare comes in two Parts. Part A generally covers Hospital Services. Part B generally covers medical services (doctors). If you have worked for 10 years, or 40 quarters, paying into the Medicare System then you would be eligible to enroll in Part A at no premium. Part B, on the other hand, requires a monthly premium. The standard 2022 monthly premium is $170.10 and will be going down to $164.90 for 20232. If you or you and your spouse earn above a certain income threshold, you will pay a higher monthly amount for Part B and Part D coverage.
Some people choose to enroll in only Original Medicare; however, it is important to understand that Parts A and B, do not cover all medical coverage and Original Medicare does not cover Medications.
So, what can you do? In some cases, recognizing the limitations of Original Medicare, individuals have enrolled in a Medicare Supplement Program, a.k.a. Medigap Plan. These are a range of standardized plans that fill in some or many of the gaps present in Original Medicare. However, even with a Medicare Supplement plan and Original Medicare, there is still NO Drug Coverage. For this reason, these individuals usually decide to add a ‘free-standing’ prescription drug program. Thus, completing the pieces to a comprehensive health program.
Others still could enroll in what is known as a Medicare Advantage plan or commonly known as Part C. Many Medicare Advantage plans come with prescription drug coverage embedded in the plan, so it is not necessary to pick up a “free-standing” prescription drug program. Medicare Advantage plans have low to modest co-pays, annual limits for overall medical expenses, and some even reimburse the individual for a portion of their Medicare Part B premium.
Deciding which is the best suited strategy for you is the important part. Each person is unique, with unique health needs and personal preferences about their health care coverage. It is most useful to work with a representative to help develop your ‘Medicare Literacy’ so you become good consumers and decision makers in selecting the approach that will help you the most.
The Annual Enrollment Period is October 15 – December 7. During that time, you have the opportunity to select the best suited Medicare plan for you in 2023. If you are approaching 65, permanently disabled and becoming new to Medicare maybe we can help. Let’s Talk! We will educate and help you reach a decision best for you.
- Social Security Administration, http://ssa.gov/
- Medicare.gov, https://www.medicare.gov/