Were you ready for this?
If you have some time on your hands, you can download the complete Medicare law, but a word of caution—it is over 1,400 pages long. Typical of government, I believe that government bureaucrats are incapable of saying what they mean in just a few words. I did happen to come across a publication that allegedly summarizes the law in just 140 pages so I’m making it available to you here: Medicare Law & You.
What is Medicare
The U.S. Medicare program is the largest health insurance program offered to our senior citizens and to others as well. Medicare is divided into four parts:
- Part A is for inpatient hospital services;
- Part B[s designed for outpatient services including doctor visits;
- Part C acts as a private health insurance program that provides Medicare benefits, known as Medicare Advantage (MA) plans; and
- Part D is for outpatient prescription drugs, Which are also delivered through private health insurance policies.
Inpatient Deductible and Coinsurance: The Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible is $1,184.00 for Calendar Year 2013. In addition, when a beneficiary receives inpatient hospital services for more than 60 days during a spell of illness, he or she is responsible for a coinsurance amount equal to one-fourth of the inpatient hospital deductible per-day for the 61st through 90th day spent in the hospital. In 2013, this is $296.00 a day for the 61st through 90th day. Each beneficiary has 60 lifetime reserve days of coverage, which they may elect to use after the 90th day in a spell of illness. The coinsurance amount for these days is equal to one-half of the inpatient hospital deductible. In 2013, these lifetime reserve days is $592.00 a day for 91st-150th day. Costs for Medicare Advantage plan enrollees are often less.
The idea behind this is to make up for the fact that our government has totally mismanaged Medicare over the years, and it is now on the verge of bankruptcy. So in our lifetime, yours and mine, we will pick up the cost for government ineptness. But what can you expect? Government seems to screw up everything it gets its tentacles on.
Medicare maintains its own website, which is fairly user friendly. You can answer many specific questions you have if the Medicare & You booklet doesn’t help. The Medicare Website.
Get the Medicare and You Booklet Here
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