NW Florida Medicare Serving the Panhandle

How to Qualify for Medicare Plans in Florida

How to Qualify for Medicare Plans in Florida

Have you ever seen the bill for an uninsured hospital visit? If you have, you would probably be shocked at the cost uninsured people are billed!

Medicare is a federal health insurance program accessible to Americans over the age of 65. It’s a huge government program that accounts for $644 billion dollars of the federal budget. 

In states like Florida with a high retirement rate, you see more Medicare resources being allocated.

Whether you’re approaching the age of 65 or have recently moved to the Sunshine State, here is all you need to know about Medicare plans in Florida.

Who Qualifies for Medicare? 

Medicare requires that all participants are citizens of the United States or have been long-term legal residents. If someone has sought out permanent residency in the United States for five years, they meet this requirement.

Medicare is an entitlement program, so most American citizens earn the right to be a part of this program by paying their taxes over the years. Paying into this program during your working years is why your monthly Medicare payments are rather low and manageable for retirement.

Additionally, you must be the age of 65 or older, and you and your spouse must have worked for a Medicare-covered employer for at least ten years. During your time working for this employer, you would have been paying into Medicare.

If you were under the age of 65, you may still be entitled to Medicare if you have certain disabilities.

What Medicare Offers

Medicare is an adaptable program. This means that users can opt into different parts based on their needs. The base-level parts of Medicare are parts A and B.

These are often referred to as Original Medicare. Part C is Medicare Advantage which allows cooperation with private insurance companies. Part D provides insurance for prescription medication.

The different parts of Medicare are divided by services provided and by financial investment into the Medicare fund through monthly premiums. Under the original parts of Medicare, you don’t need to pay a monthly premium unless you or your spouse haven’t worked at least ten years and paid into Medicare taxes.

Medicare Part A 

Medicare Part A refers to one part of Original Medicare. This is commonly referred to as Hospital Medicare. This includes the following services: 

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Limited skilled nursing home care
  • Limited home health care 
  • Hospice care

Medical Part A doesn’t usually cover the entire hospital bill, so often after a hospital stay, you receive a bill in the mail. This bill will be much smaller than if you were uninsured.

Medicare Part B 

Medicare Part B is the other half of Original Medicare. Part B covers your regular visits to the doctor. Specifically, it helps handle things like:

  • Visits to the doctor’s office
  • Blood tests 
  • X-rays 
  • Diabetes screenings and supplies 
  • Outpatient hospital care

The financial cost beneficiaries spend for doctor’s visits, blood tests, and outpatient hospital care is minimal due to Medicare. It’s typical that Medicare beneficiaries will only pay 20% of the bill for doctor’s visits and various medical tests.

Medicare Part C 

Medicare Part C is also referred to as a Medicare Advantage Plan. This is a singular plan that includes all of the different components of Medicare coverage.

In order to use private insurance, you need to have both parts of the original Medicare. These plans can provide more benefits and also allow the use of private health care insurance plans.

When looking for a Medicare Advantage Plan, it is important to shop around for the coverage you need. You’ll also want to consider what deductible and co-pays you can include in your budget. 

Medicare Part D 

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. This feature of Medicare is distributed through private insurance companies. Since Part D is through private insurance companies, users will receive a separate card for this portion of their health insurance. 

This is an optional feature that you can add to Original Medicare, but by not adding it you may receive a penalty. One of the benefits of Medicare Part D is that even if you can’t afford your medications through Medicare, you may qualify for additional financial aid to help you pay for your medications through state or federal assistance programs.

How to Apply

Since Medicare is a federal program, the registration process is all through government entities. You need to get in touch with the Social Security office in order to enroll in Medicare. You can contact them via the following methods:

  • Online at www.SocialSecurity.gov
  • By calling the Social Security office at +1(800)-772-1213
  • In-person at your local Social Security office

If you are soon to become Medicare eligible, it is important that you know the initial enrollment period.

Three months before and three months after your 65th birthday is the Medicare initial enrollment period. If you were to file for Medicare outside of this timeframe, then you may have to pay a penalty fee in addition to your enrollment fees.

These penalties will only be applied if you were previously uninsured. If you were merely switching over from employee insurance to a Medicare program, then there’s a lot more flexibility.

Find the Perfect Medicare Plans in Florida

Being insured is very important, as you never know when you’re going to need medical attention. There’s a wide variety of insurance plans with different services that you might have to depend on for your medical needs.

Perhaps you should seek assistance in filtering through the different parts of Medicare to find the plan that will best fit your medical history.

If you’re trying to find the best Medicare plans in Florida and need help with enrollment, get connected with us today!

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