Health Insurance Resources for Seniors
Original Medicare offers hospital insurance (Medicare Part A) and medical insurance (Medicare Part B) to millions of senior citizens age 65 and older. If you qualify for Medicare benefits, you can find local resources designed to help you with any of your health insurance questions by using the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) Technical Assistance Center.
Learn more about the basics of Medicare below, as well as how Medicare Supplement Insurance can help cover out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare.
Qualifying for Original Medicare
In order to meet Medicare eligibility requirements, you typically must be a United States citizen (or legal permanent resident) who is age 65 or older. Some senior citizens are automatically enrolled in Medicare. You may qualify for automatic Medicare enrollment if:
- You are a senior citizen turning 65 and are already receiving benefits through Social Security or through the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
- You are under age 65 but are disabled and have been receiving Social Security or RRB disability benefits for over 24 months.
If you are not automatically enrolled in Medicare, you can manually enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B (Original Medicare).
Medicare Part A Insurance Benefits
Medicare Part A covers a number of services, which typically include:
- Inpatient hospital stays
- Hospice care
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Some home health care
You don’t normally pay a monthly premium on Medicare Part A. If you did not pay sufficient Medicare taxes (10 years or 40 quarters) while working, your Part A premium can cost up to $499 per month in 2022.
Other out-of-pocket health insurance costs may include deductibles ($1,556 deductible per benefit period in 2022) and coinsurance for hospital or skilled nursing facility stays.
Medicare Part B and Health Care Costs
Medicare Part B carries a monthly premium. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B is $170.10 per month in 2022. If you are a senior citizen already receiving Social Security benefits and your Part B premium is taken out of your Social Security benefit payments, your premium will typically be lower.
Medicare Part B benefits typically include outpatient services, like doctor visits, surgeries, wellness exams, lab tests and durable medical equipment.
After you meet your annual Part B deductible of $233, you are typically responsible for paying 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for medical services.
Covering Additional Costs With Medigap Insurance
Medigap, or Medicare Supplement Insurance, helps pay for some of the costs listed above. There are 10 standardized plans to choose from in most states. If you're a senior interested in Medigap, a licensed insurance agent can help you compare the different benefits of each type of plan.
Call 1-800-995-4219 today for a free Medigap plan comparison and to find the right policy for your health insurance needs.