Original Medicare

Part A & B

Finding affordable medical insurance is an important part of your retirement planning. But managing your insurance can be complicated and you’ll need to plan carefully to make every dollar count.

This is where it can be helpful to have an expert on your side who can cut through all the advertising and give you the facts you need. Trusted Medicare Answers has been providing simple and honest information to Medicare beneficiaries since 2014. Let us help you, too.

Medicare Part A covers hospital and skilled nursing facility stays, hospice care, and some home health care costs. This is one of two parts of Original Medicare. Most people get Part A for free (no premium) as long as they have worked at least 10 years and paid Medicare taxes. Even if you are entitled to a free Part A, you still must enroll when you are first eligible.

What’s Good to Know:

  • If you aren’t entitled to receive Part A for free, and you don’t enroll when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
  • Most people should enroll in part A when turning 65, even if you have health insurance through an employer. This is because your Part A is most likely free now, but you will incur late enrollment penalties if you wait.
  • If you’re not entitled to receive Part A for free, you can still enroll but will pay a premium.
  • Some people will automatically get Medicare A and B (without needing to enroll). In most cases, this is based on whether you’re getting benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. If so, you will get your Medicare information about 3 months before your 65th birthday.

Medicare Part B helps to cover doctors’ appointments as well as services, preventative and specialty services, outpatient care, home health care, and some medical equipment. This is the second part of Original Medicare.

What’s Good to Know:

  • It’s important to sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up paying a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B (unless your situation qualifies for a Special Enrollment Period). You may also have to wait until the General Enrollment Period to enroll and experience a gap in coverage.
  • Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B. The premium varies depending on your income and when you enroll in Part B.
  • Most people should enroll in Part A when they turn 65, but certain people may choose to delay Part B (for example, if they have insurance through an employer). In most cases, the reason for delaying depends on the type of health coverage you may have.

Navigating all your options can get confusing fast. Talk to an expert in Medicare and get the guidance you need to make an informed decision.

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