Perhaps ironically, the time that you are most likely to need more health care is the same time as your health insurance stops. It is in our older years, during retirement when we are most likely to be in need of health insurance and yet, as we are retired we no longer come under any employer’s group health care plan.
Realizing this, the US government introduced Medicare which to all intents and purposes is health insurance for the retired person over the age of 65. It may not be as comprehensive as some of the employer’s health plans and may not even be totally free but it does help senior citizens with their health care costs when they most need that help.
If all 4 parts of Medicare are opted for, the coverage is quite comprehensive but only one part is free and so the others have to be paid for.
Part A is the free part and that is designed to help the elderly with hospital costs should they need hospitalization at any time. Of the 3 other parts, one assists with the bills for out-patient care and doctors’ visits and another allows for discounts on prescription drugs.
The other part, Part C is where a retired person opts to take out private health insurance and so as they will not be making claims against Medicare, Medicare helps them to pay the cost of the insurance.
Although between the 4 parts Medicare can be quite comprehensive, there are still gaps which could cost a senior citizen the full expense in certain circumstances but to avoid that where possible, Medicare supplements, also individually known as a Medigap, can be paid for.
Although in certain circumstances these supplements can be very useful, it is up to each senior citizen to determine which would be right for them and which ones they can afford to pay for. This also applies to which parts of Medicare that they want as apart from Part A, they will have to pay for those too.
Although nobody will probably claim that Medicare is perfect, it can and does in many situations, prevent senior citizens from being faced with horrendous health bills in their later years, affording them some financial freedoms as they get older.
The full cost of comprehensive, full medical or health insurance is far too excessive for most elderly people that have to rely on what pensions they may receive and so having Medicare help them is certainly better than having no help at all. In order to be eligible for Medicare you must be at least 65 years old, be retired from work and have previously, legally worked for at least 10 years.
With the exception of Part C which is obtained from an insurance company, the other Medicare benefits can be signed on for and claimed from your local social security office but please learn all the aspects of each of the parts before applying, so you fully understand what you are applying for.