¿Qué es Medicare?
When exploring Medicare for the first time it's normal to have a lot of questions. That's why we've organized all the Medicare information you need to navigate the process more easily.
How does Medicare work?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides benefits to those older than 65 and to some younger individuals with disabilities. If you want to understand how Medicare works you can learn more about the different parts of Medicare - that begins with a better understanding of Original Medicare.
¿Qué es Medicare Original?
Medicare is made up of two main parts: Part A and Part B. Part A covers hospital expenses. Any inpatient care falls under Medicare Part A coverage. That includes:
- Estadías en hospital (habitaciones semiprivadas) hasta 60 días
- Comidas en el hospital
- Servicios de enfermería
- Servicios de cuidados médicos intensivos
- Medicamentos, suministros médicos y equipos usados en las instalaciones
- Pruebas de laboratorio y radiografías realizadas durante una internación
- Costos de cirugías y recuperación
- Servicios de rehabilitación y terapia
- Cuidados de enfermería a domicilio de tiempo parcial
Medicare Part B is your general medical insurance for outpatient medical needs, including:
- Consultas médicas
- Tests, screenings and X-rays
- Flu shots and other vaccinations
- Necessary medical supplies
- Atención de la salud mental para pacientes ambulatorios
- Medically necessary preventive care
¿Qué es Medicare Parte C?
More Medicare coverage means more peace of mind. That's why many people choose Part C, called a Medicare Advantage plan, which you can get from private insurers like Anthem. Medicare Part C plans cover Part A and Part B (Original Medicare).
Many plans include prescription drug coverage as well as other benefits Original Medicare does not cover.
Medicare Advantage plans may include:
- Routine dental care including cleanings, X-rays and dentures
- Routine vision care including contacts and glasses
- Routine hearing care including hearing aids
- Fitness benefits including exercise classes
¿Qué es Medicare Parte D?
Original Medicare doesn't cover prescription medications. For that, you can either get a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, or a standalone Part D plan, which solely covers prescription drugs.
When are you eligible for Medicare?
You have a seven-month window to apply for Medicare:
- Three months before you turn 65
- El mes en que cumples 65 años
- Three months after you turn 65
It's good to know your Medicare enrollment dates. These are times when you can add, switch or drop coverage so you have a plan that fits your needs.
Apply for the first time: Medicare Initial Enrollment Period
Medicare Enrollment – that seven-month window we just mentioned – is your first chance to apply for Original Medicare. Try to sign up during this time to avoid penalties and delayed coverage.
Make changes to coverage: Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
If you already applied for Original Medicare but find you need to make changes, you can do that during the Annual Enrollment Period.
Also known as the Annual Election Period, from October 15 to December 7 each year, the Annual Enrollment Period is your opportunity to add, drop or change your benefits.
Annual Enrollment is also a good time to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan if you need more coverage. Or if you have one already, you can use this to make changes to a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan.
How to Apply for Medicare
Visit your local Social Security office to sign up for Medicare, or sign up with Social Security online in about 10 minutes. You may need the following documents:
- Tu tarjeta del Seguro Social
- Tu certificado de nacimiento original
- Comprobante de ciudadanía estadounidense o documentación de estado de ciudadano legal si no naciste en Estados Unidos
- Una copia del formulario W-2