Medicare is a kind of health insurance program for individuals who are 65 years old or older. Those people who are younger than 65 but are disabled or who are in the end-stage of a serious disease, they can still avail heath care through Medicare. In the case of paying for the health insurance, the amount that you pay will basically depend on your yearly income and how much care do you need.
There are several ways to pay for Medicare premiums such as credit card, check, bank transfer, automatic deduction from your social security benefit, etc. But of course, it will depend on what kind of premium you have as each has different requirements.
Part A Hospital Coverage
The majority of people do not pay premiums for part A. The reason is because they paid Medicare payroll taxes when they were working. For those who do not have 40 Social Security work credits can buy into Part A by paying a premium. In this situation, Medicare will be sending a bill and you can directly pay to the Medicare Premium Collection Center at the address given on the bill.
Part B Doctor visits, tests, and other services
If you have retirement benefits from Social Security, the civil service, or the Railroad Retirement Board, your premiums for Part B will be automatically deducted from monthly payments and this is the only option. On the other hand, if you don’t have any of the mentioned benefits, Medicare will be sending quarterly bills.
These are types of health plans that are sold by insurance companies but overseen by Medicare. They are alternatives to original Medicare. They often offer more services than original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans typically cover hospitalization (Part A), outpatient care (Part B), and prescription drugs (Part C) under one plan.
In order to qualify for Medicare Advantage, you need to have Medicare Parts A and B. So that means you’ll at least need to pay the Part B monthly premium. Moreover, you may need to pay a monthly premium for the Medicare Advantage plan itself. The prices vary a great deal depending on the plan you’ve chosen.
The monthly fee you pay varies by the plan you choose. Each year you pay a deductible before Medicare starts sharing the cost for your medicines. Although the deductible may vary from plan to plan, no plan may charge more than $320 in 2015. In 2016, the maximum will be $360. After you’ve paid the deductible, your Medicare prescription drug plan kicks in and you pay a copay or coinsurance.
Things to Consider before Making a Decision
When you first join a plan, you’re asked to choose one of the payment methods. In most cases, you must stay with that option for the rest of the calendar year. If you need to change to another method, or meet any other problems with payments, call the plan to discuss the situation.