A: Medicare Part A covers hospital care, skilled nursing facility care (after a three-night stay in a hospital), nursing home care, hospice and home health services. Medicare Part B covers services (like therapies, lab tests, surgeries, ambulance and doctor visits) and supplies (like medication, wheelchairs and walkers) considered medically necessary to treat a disease or condition.
Medicare does not cover the following services: routine dental or eye care, dentures, cosmetic surgery, acupuncture, hearing aids and hearing exams.
If you choose to have a Medicare Advantage (Plan C) managed care plan, it is recommended that you ask the plan for a written advance coverage decision to make sure a service is medically necessary and will be covered, or it may be denied. If the plan won’t pay for a service you think you’ll need, you’ll have to pay for all of the costs if you didn’t ask for an advance coverage decision.
You can leave your Medicare Advantage plan (Plan C) and return to traditional Medicare Parts A and B, at any time. You will need to give your managed care plan 30 days written notice, and they will notify Medicare. Once you’re back in traditional Medicare, you will have to pay a monthly premium for Part B services. Most people have their Medicare Part B premium deducted from their Social Security check. For most people, there is no premium for Medicare Part A.
For more information on Medicare, go to www.medicare.gov or call toll free 1-800-633-4227.
Information provided by Toni Linberg, Regency Park Nursing and Rehab, 100 Ram Drive, Jefferson, (515) 386-4107.