Healthcare and other Services you can Get out of your Medicare Benefits
Medicare benefits are available for people who are 65 years old or older, or those under the age of 65 and disabled, and those with permanent kidney failure. To qualify for these benefits, the person must have entered the country lawfully and have lived here for five years.
Medicare is administered by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is financed by a portion of the payroll taxes paid by employers and workers and also by monthly premiums deducted from Social Security checks.
Medicare has four parts, which include the following plans:
- Part A (Hospital insurance) – This covers expenses for in-patient care in a hospital or nursing facility, home health care, and hospice care.
- Part B (Medical Insurance) – This covers payments for doctor’s services and other medical services and supplies not covered by Part A insurance.
- Part C (Medicare Advantage) – Available to those with Medicare Parts A and B where beneficiaries can choose their health care service provider
- Part D (Prescription drug coverage) – This plan pays for doctor-prescribed medications for treatment. Contrary to what most people believe, Medicare only helps with the cost of health care; it does not cover all expenses and long-term health care.
Medicare Part A
However under Medicare Part A, you can pay expenses for in-patient care in a hospital or nursing facility, home health care, and hospice care. Under Part A, you can avail of the following services and supplies:
- Hospital stay –This includes semi-private rooms, meals, general nursing and other hospital services and supplies; but does not include private duty nursing or television and telephone service in your room.
- Skilled nursing facility – This includes semi-private rooms, meals, skilled nursing and rehabilitative services and other services and supplies
- Health home care – This includes part-time skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, home health aide services, medical social services, medical equipment like wheel chair, hospital beds, oxygen and walkers and other medical services and supplies
- Hospice care – This includes medical and support services from a hospice for those with terminal illnesses, and drugs for symptom control and pain relief, and other services not covered by Medicare. Hospice care is often administered at your home.
- Blood supply during a covered stay in a hospital or facility
Medical Part B
If you have Medicare Part B, you can also avail of outpatient services in a hospital or community mental health center, which include the following:
Medical Part B can also help you cover the following medical services and supplies:
- Doctor’s services, outpatient medical and surgical supplies, ambulatory surgery center facilities and diagnostic tests
- Home health care including part-time skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, medical social services and medical equipment
- Clinical laboratory services such as blood tests, urinalysis and other tests
- Outpatient hospital services such as emergency room visit, stitches for cuts, radiology and getting a cast
- Blood supply as an outpatient In sum, beneficiaries can avail of a multitude of other services which they can derive from their Medicare insurance. These include, among others, the following important services:
- X-rays, MRIs CAT scans. EKGs and other diagnostic tests
- Ambulance services and emergency care
- Prosthetic devices and replacement parts
- Braces for arms, legs, back, and neck
- Chiropratic services (limited)
- Eyeglasses after cataract services
- Drug therapy for transplant patients
- Kidney dialysis
- Medical supply
- Medical nutrition therapy services
- Transplant needs
- Second medical opinion by doctors