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Medicare 101: Understanding Medicare and How It Works 

    Healthcare can be a confusing topic for many of us because there are so many options out there.

    As you transition from a working adult to a retired adult, learning the ins and outs of Medicare can be even more overwhelming. When you’ve used the same healthcare for most of your adult life, having to choose a new one may seem difficult.

    Well, it doesn’t have to be!

    We put together a Medicare 101 guide to teach you all about Medicare. Keep reading to learn more.

    Medicare 101

    1. Learn the Basics First 

    Before you get any farther with enrolling in Medicare, you’ll want to know what it is and who it’s for.

    Medicare is healthcare for people 65 and over. If you’re aging into Medicare at the age of 65, it doesn’t matter if you’ve taken any social security benefits yet.

    While there are different plans you can choose, it’s important to understand the process of enrolling in Medicare as well as the parts it includes.

    Medicare’s Parts

    With Medicare, you’ll have parts A, B, C, and D.

    Part A

    Part A of Medicare is your hospital coverage. This will pay for any room and board you require for hospital stays, as well as the cost to live in a nursing facility.

    Part B

    Part B of Medicare covers any outpatient costs. Things like doctor visits, lab work, surgeries, and tests are covered by part B.

    Part C

    Part C is optional. If you choose to use Medicare Advantage over Medigap to save money then this plan applies to you. Part C provides specific healthcare providers and you will pay lower rates by seeing these providers.

    Part D

    Part D covers any drugs you’re prescribed from your doctor. A pharmacy card is given to you for this.

    MedicareWire is a great resource for learning about these plans in more depth.

    2. What Are the Costs for Medicare?

    Depending on which plan you choose, the amount you pay will vary. 

    Here’s a basic rundown of cost:

    Part A- free for most people

    Part B- base rate of $135.50 per month

    Part C– $0-200

    Part D- $35 per month

    3. What Is Covered With Medicare?

    While Medicare is available to anyone over 65, there are only certain things that are covered.

    These include…

    • Your first 60 days in the hospital 
    • Doctor visits
    • Lab work
    • Surgery
    • Imaging tests
    • Radiation
    • Chemotherapy
    • Dialysis
    • Prescription medication

    4. What Are Your Supplemental Coverage Options?

    We already discussed Part C or Medicare Advantage, but what are your other supplemental coverage options?


    Your Medigap plan will pay what’s left after you’ve used Medicare. Medigap helps pay for the portion of the cost that would normally be your share. This is great for eliminating deductibles and for help with costly procedures.

    Don’t Be Afraid of the Change

    While all of this information can be overwhelming if you’ve had insurance through your job for years, it can be broken down easily.

    Do your research to figure out which plan is the best for you before deciding.

    If you enjoyed learning about Medicare 101, check out our Health Programs section for more helpful information!