Ca Medicare Basics: An Introduction
Are you turning 65 soon? If so then you may be curious to find out exactly what Medicare is and how Ca Medicare actually works. This introduction to Medicare should provide some, if not all, of the answers you need.
What is Medicare?
Created by the federal government in 1965, Medicare is an entitlement health care program for seniors age 65 and over, those who are permanently physically disabled and those who have certain congenital diseases.
Fun Fact Did you know that President Harry S. Truman was the very first Medicare recipient? On the day that Medicare was established in 1965, President Lyndon B Johnson presented Harry S Truman the first ever Medicare card.
How is Medicare funded?
Medicare is funded in part by taxes on the payroll and income from all Americans and in part by the recipients themselves.
Although Medicare was created originally to help our elderly with the high cost of health care it is not free. Medicare recipients pay a monthly premium which changes every year, a portion of their own medical bills in the form of co-insurance as well as a deductible amount.
Who is eligible for Medicare?
To be eligible for Medicare is simple really all you need is to be 65 years old and a legal resident of the United States that has paid taxes for the last ten years. If you are under age 65 it becomes a little more complicated.
To be eligible for Medicare if you are under 65 you must be permanently disabled and receiving Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits or you must have a disease such as end stage renal disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
How do you enroll?
To enroll in Medicare if you are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits is simple. All you really need to do is turn 65 years old. About 3 months before your 65th birthday you should receive a packet from Medicare explaining your benefits. Once you receive the packet all you need to do is begin using your Medicare Part A(hospital) and Medicare Part B(medical) coverage. If you do not want Medicare Part B because you are still covered under your employerıs medical insurance plan then simply check the box refusing Part B and you are all set. You can add Part B later if you need to during open enrollment.
If you are not receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits already then you will need to apply for Medicare during the 3 months prior to your 65th birthday through the 3 months after it. (7 months total) All you need to do is call the Social Security office to obtain the paperwork.
Need more information about CA Medicare? Check out our other articles.