By Doug Callahan
Like Social Security, Medicare can be a little tricky. But it’s not surprising they’re similar – they are related, after all. Actually, Medicare is a part of Social Security. It wasn’t part of the original Social Security package, but you can thank President Johnson for adding it in 1965. But enough history class; here’s how it works.
There are two different versions of Medicare. Original Medicare refers to a system in which the government pays for 80% of medical bills, and the remainder is either paid out of pocket, or through supplemental insurance. But Medicare Advantage is a little different. Well, it’s pretty much the same, except a private health insurance plan is footing the bill.
There are also different parts to Medicare coverage. Part A is often referred to as Hospital Insurance, and you won’t have to pay for that as long as you are eligible for Social Security. Part B, called Medical Insurance requires the payment of a premium and a deductible. As you can imagine, Part A covers hospital visits and Part B covers doctor’s appointments.
As with Social Security, you won’t get anything if you don’t apply! So either go to your local office or fill out an online application to get the ball rolling.