There is a big difference between Medicare and Medicaid. While the programs were initiated by the government, one is for the poor while the other is for senior citizens.
Medicare is the one for senior citizens. This is because when a person reaches retirement age, most of the contracts with the insurance companies have already expired. You can get it simply by going down to the social security office and filling out the form. All you have to do is put in your name, date of birth and chosen plan.
The benefits for Medicare are provided in four parts namely A, B, C and D.
In part A, you have some inpatient hospital care, some skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care. The best part about it is that this is free.
In part B, you can have certain treatments not available in part A including doctor’s fees and outpatient healthcare.
With part C, you can also have other insurance plans being offered by HMOs, PPOs and similar health care organizations. For this to work, they must provide the same benefits that the Original Medicare Plan provides under Parts A and B. Another thing covered here is eye and dental care. The only downside to Part C is if your doctor is not a member of the network which means you won’t be able to consult him for help.
The benefits for people who select part D include prescription drug benefits which you can get through various private insurance companies.
Of the 4 parts, only A is absolutely free. You have to pay a premium monthly if you choose B, C or D. This could cost $89 a month or even more and this may go up the following year if the cost of healthcare in the country goes up.
It is undoubtedly expensive but if you get confined in the hospital or require medical treatment, the government will pay a small portion while the rest will be shouldered by you.