At Leon Health, we get the same questions from different patients about Medicare. If you’re looking for answers to the top Medicare questions, we have answers. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, just give us a call. We’re here to help.
- How do I sign up for Medicare?
Enrolling in Medicare is easy. If you already receive Social Security benefits, you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare. If not, first determine if you’re eligible. You can verify your Medicare eligibility with this tool from Medicare.gov.
- When do I sign up for Medicare?
Some people will automatically get Medicare, but if you need to sign up, there are certain times of the year to do so. There are also certain times of the year when you can change how you get your coverage. When you are first eligible for Medicare, there is a 7-month initial enrollment period for Part A and Part B sign up. If you’re turning 65 and eligible for Medicare, you can sign up during the 7-month period that begins three months before the month you turn 65.
- What does Medicare cover?
Medicare coverage isn’t always straightforward. Coverage varies depending on whether you choose the Original Medicare Plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. In some cases, the services covered may depend on where you live. Medicare Part A covers hospital services, and Medicare Part B covers medical services. There are specific services covered under the Original Medicare plan. We offer details here.
- What is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage plans are slightly different from the Original Medicare plan. Medicare Advantage plans are also called Part C plans. These are bundled plans that give you added coverage benefits. You get hospital and medical coverage, but you may also get additional coverage such as drug coverage (Part D), dental, hearing, or vision.
- Am I Eligible for Medicare Advantage?
To qualify for a Medicare Advantage plan, you must first be eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B. You also must live in the area the Medicare Advantage plan serves. These Plans are offered by private companies that Medicare approves, such as Leon Health. Each Plan is licensed to serve a specific area, so you must check your Plan to make sure it covers where you live.
- What if I’m late to enroll in Medicare?
The right time to sign up varies for everyone. But in general, it’s a good idea to enroll in Medicare as soon as you are eligible. If you don’t enroll in Medicare when you are first eligible, you could pay a penalty. Medicare charges these penalties to encourage people to sign up when they are first eligible, even if they are healthy. The premiums healthy people pay can help offset the costs of individuals using more Medicare services and benefits.
- Does Medicare cover long-term care?
Generally, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care or custodial care. It won’t cover costs for services that help with daily activities, such as a nursing home or assisted living facility. While Medicare won’t cover custodial care, it will still cover the necessary medical care you may need, including care in a skilled nursing facility, Hospice care, certain home health services, and treatment in a long-term care hospital.
- Does Medicare Cover Dental Care?
Original Medicare (Part A and B) doesn’t cover routine dental care. If you need a cleaning, a filling, dentures, or treatment for a general toothache, you will have to pay out of pocket. In some cases, Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) may cover some dental care you get while staying in the hospital. Some Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) will cover dental care, including cleanings, x-rays, extractions, and fillings. However, it’s essential to check each plan carefully to see what services they cover.
- Does Medicare Cover Eye Exams?
Original Medicare (Part A and B) doesn’t cover routine eye exams. It also doesn’t cover costs for eyeglasses or contacts. There are a few exceptions, however. Medicare Part B (medical insurance) will cover a simple vision test when you first sign up. This test is offered only once, and you must have the test within the first year you’re enrolled.
- What Doesn’t Medicare Cover?
It’s important to know that Medicare doesn’t cover every medical cost, and coverage varies by state. That’s why it’s essential always to double-check what your Medicare plan covers. Medicare.gov offers this list of services that are covered no matter where you live. In general, Medicare doesn’t cover elective surgery that isn’t considered medically necessary, eye exams for prescribing glasses, hearing aids, and most dental care.