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Who Qualifies for Medicare?

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Authored by Darlene Zagata in Health Care
Published on 08-18-2009

Medicare is our country’s health insurance program designed to benefit people aged 65 or older. The financing for Medicare comes partially from payroll taxes of employees and employers as well as monthly premium deductions from Social Security income checks. You are required to be a United States citizen or permanent resident to receive Medicare benefits. People under the age of 65 may qualify for Medicare if they have a qualifying disability such as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

There are a few main eligibility requirements to determine whether you qualify for Medicare. You must meet at least one of the following requirements to be eligible. You must have a qualifying disability, currently receive or be eligible to receive railroad retirement or Social Security benefits, have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months, you or your spouse worked long enough at a Medicare covered government job or you are a dependent parent of a person who worked a sufficient length of time at a government job in which Medicare taxes were paid. Even if you don’t qualify you may be able to receive Medicare if you pay a monthly premium.

There are four sections of Medicare, respectively alphabetized from A to D. Simply put, Part A covers hospital insurance while Part B covers doctor visits. People who qualify for hospital insurance which is covered in Part A of Medicare also qualify for doctor visits and medical supplies covered in Part B although a monthly payment is required. Specialty plans such as managed care are found in Part C. The last section, Part D, contains very important information about prescription drugs such as the fact this plan requires a monthly premium.

Even if you qualify for Medicare, it may be necessary to purchase a supplemental insurance to cover costs not covered by Medicare. It is also important to note that some expenses such as hospice or long-term nursing home care may not be covered. There are other medical expenses such as eyeglasses, hearing aids or dental services that may not be covered under Medicare. A supplemental insurance can help offset these and other medical costs. Anyone who travels outside of the United States should be aware that any medical treatment received outside of the U.S. generally is not covered by Medicare. Medicare does, however, cover the majority of physicians and hospitals located within the United States.

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