Introduction to Medicare

Medicare helps with the cost of healthcare, but it doesn’t cover all medical expenses. That’s why you get to choose how much Medicare coverage will work best for you.

Learn about Medicare Parts:

What are the parts of Medicare?

When you first apply for Medicare, you are signing up for Parts A and B (this is known as Original Medicare). Once you’re enrolled, you have the option to join a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) which covers the benefits and services that Original Medicare offers plus a whole lot more like dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage. Not all Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, so you may need to enroll in a separate prescription drug plan (Part D). Contact us today to learn about Medicare Advantage plan options.

Parts A and B together are known as “Original Medicare.”


Hospital Insurance

Enroll in part A during your initial enrollment period.

Part A is free for most people as long as you have worked and paid federal taxes for at least 10 years.

Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), and some home health and hospice care.


Medical Insurance

Enroll in part B during your initial enrollment period, unless you receive comparable coverage through a spouse or employer.

For most people, there’s a 10% premium late enrollment penalty if you wait to enroll in a Medicare plan beyond your initial enrollment period. You’ll need to pay the penalty price for as long as you have Part B.

Part B helps pay for medical services from doctors and other healthcare providers, outpatient care, Durable Medical Equipment (DME) such as walkers, and some preventive services such as mammograms.


Medicare Advantage Plans

If you’re enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, you can enroll in a Part C plan during enrollment periods.

In most cases, you can save money on your Medicare coverage.

A Part C plan helps pay for all benefits and services covered under Parts A and B (Original Medicare), extra benefits and services such as dental and vision care (with some plans), and Part D prescription drug coverage (with some plans).

When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), you’re simply telling Medicare that you prefer to have your hospital insurance (Part A) and medical insurance (Part B) managed by a Part C plan.

You’ll need to continue paying your premium for Part B.


Prescription Drug Coverage

If you don’t have prescription drug coverage, you can enroll in a Part D plan during your initial enrollment period.

Note: if you go more than 63 days without prescription coverage, you’ll face a penalty fee.

Part D helps pay for prescription drugs.


Private Medicare Supplement Policy

Medigap helps pay some costs under Original Medicare (Parts A and B).

These plans will not help pay for services that are not covered by Original Medicare, such as dental or vision care, and have higher premiums.

Note: Healthfirst doesn’t offer supplemental plans, but some other private insurance companies do.

Medigap helps pay for Original Medicare costs such as deductibles and copays/coinsurance.

Coverage is provided by Healthfirst Health Plan, Inc., Healthfirst PHSP, Inc., and/or Healthfirst Insurance Company, Inc. (together, “Healthfirst”). Plans contain exclusions and limitations.

Healthfirst Health Plan, Inc. offers HMO plans that contract with the Federal Government. Healthfirst Medicare Plan has a contract with New York State Medicaid for Healthfirst CompleteCare (HMO SNP) and a Coordination of Benefits Agreement with the New York State Department of Health for the Healthfirst Life Improvement Plan (HMO SNP). Enrollment in Healthfirst Medicare Plan depends on contract renewal.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Benefits, premiums, and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year.

Healthfirst complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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Last update March 29, 2022 @ 9:31 am

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