Medicare is designed to provide only basic health care. Medicare will not pay for custodial or long-term life skills care, such as someone who assists with dressing, toileting and feeding. Medicare will cover up to 100 days of skilled care, including full coverage for the first 20 days and the remaining days covered with some amount of co-insurance.
Medicare (Part A) will not cover most nursing home care, routine checkups and routine tests, immunization shots, prescription drugs, dental care and dentures, eyeglasses or hearing aids.
Medicare (Part B) covers two types of services: Medically necessary services such as services or supplies needed to diagnose or treat a medical condition, and preventive health care services to detect or prevent illness.
You are eligible for Medicare (Part A) when you turn 65.
If you have kidney failure which requires maintenance dialysis or a kidney replacement, or if you are a government employee not covered by Social Security, and you’ve paid the Medicare section of your Social Security tax, you likely also qualify. Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) is available to you if you have paid for it out of your employment taxes.
If you are currently eligible for free Medicare hospital insurance (Part A), you may also enroll in Medicare (Part B) by paying the monthly premium. Medicare (Part B) is optional and will cost you an extra amount per month. There are a number of rules associated with Medicare enrollment, including penalties you may incur if you do not enroll in Medicare (Part B) as soon as you are eligible to do so.
To explore your options, you may wish to speak with an attorney at Hook Law Center. We can help you navigate the Medicare maze.