Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon B Johnson back in 1965. President Truman had done much during his administration to pave the way for it. It was truly a revolutionary piece of legislation, providing health coverage for a group of citizens who formerly had few insurance options other than to work forever to maintain employer group health insurance.

Not all countries have such a robust health insurance system for their elder citizens. Fifty-three years after it was signed into law, Medicare covers more than 50 million people today.

People with Medicare coverage have access to over 800,000 medical providers. Part A covers hospital expenses such as inpatient stays, skilled nursing facility care, blood transfusions and hospice benefits. Part B covers outpatient expenses such as preventive care, doctor’s visits, lab testing, diagnostic imaging and even expensive things like outpatient surgery and chemotherapy.

There is also a new voluntary drug program, Medicare Part D, that was added in 2006. This optional coverage acts a pharmacy card, giving Medicare beneficiaries access to retail outpatient prescription drugs at lower pricing than what they would pay with no coverage. A catastrophic coverage limit in all plans helps to limit the maximum amount that you would be expected to pay in any given year.

Just like any insurance, Medicare doesn’t cover 100% of all of your health costs. There are deductibles, coinsurance, and copays that beneficiaries must pay on their own. However, there are Medigap plans that can be added to the coverage to help fill in those gaps. Medigap plan g an alternative to Medicare supplement plan f.

Though Medicare has been now been around for more than a century, it is still rather overwhelming to new enrollees. With all the different parts and plans, it can be easy to get confused when figuring out your benefits. This detailed graphic walks you through some of the most important points you should know about Medicare in 2018.

medicare infographic
Infographic courtesy of www.Boomer Benefits

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