15 Little-Known Facts You May Not Know About Medicare
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people aged 65 and older, as well as certain younger people with disabilities. It is one of the most important social programs in the United States, and it provides millions of people with access to quality healthcare.
While Medicare is a well-known program, there are many little-known facts about it that many people may not be aware of. Here are 15 of these facts:
- Medicare covers preventive care, including annual wellness visits, flu shots, and cancer screenings. Most of these services are covered at no cost to you.
- Medicare covers prescription drugs, but you may need to purchase a separate Part D plan. Part D plans are offered by private insurance companies, and their premiums and coverage vary.
- Medicare covers dental care, but only if it is medically necessary. This means that it must be related to another medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease.
- Medicare covers vision care, but only for certain services. These services include annual eye exams, glaucoma screenings, and cataract surgery.
- Medicare covers hearing care, but only for certain services. These services include hearing tests and hearing aids for people with severe hearing loss.
- Medicare covers mental health care services, including counseling and psychotherapy. These services are covered in the same way as other medical services.
- Medicare covers some long-term care services, such as skilled nursing care and rehabilitation. However, it does not cover long-term care in a nursing home unless you need skilled nursing care for a short period of time after a hospitalization.
- You can earn extra income while you are on Medicare. You are allowed to work and earn money without losing your Medicare benefits.
- You can delay your enrollment in Medicare Part B without penalty if you are still covered by employer health insurance. However, you must enroll in Medicare Part B within eight months of losing your employer health insurance coverage to avoid paying a late enrollment penalty.
- You can change your Medicare coverage every year during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs from October 15 to December 7. During the AEP, you can switch to a different Medicare plan or add or drop a Part D plan.
- You can get help paying for Medicare premiums and other costs if you have low income and limited resources. The Medicare Savings Programs and Medicare Extra Help can help you pay for your Medicare premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.
- You can get help with Medicare from a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIPs are free and confidential counseling services that can help you understand your Medicare options and choose the right coverage for you.
- You can report Medicare fraud and abuse to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS has a toll-free hotline (1-800-MEDICARE) where you can report suspected fraud or abuse.
- You can access your Medicare information and manage your benefits online at MyMedicare.gov. At MyMedicare.gov, you can view your Medicare coverage, enroll in Medicare Part B, and download your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN).
- You can get Medicare help over the phone by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Medicare representatives are available to answer your questions and help you with your Medicare needs.
If you are eligible for Medicare, it is important to understand your coverage and how to use it. By knowing these 15 little-known facts about Medicare, you can make sure that you are getting the most out of your benefits.