Health Insurance and Medicare - US - May 2011
The following terms are also used in the report:
- Original Medicare - Original Medicare consists of Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (medical and doctors) coverage. When enrolling in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B are automatically given to the new beneficiary but there is a monthly charge of approximately $119 for the Part B coverage that is generally taken out of one’s Social Security check. However, a person can decide not to take Part B at the time of enrollment and pick up the coverage at a later time but for a higher premium.
- Medicare Advantage - Medicare Advantage is Part C of Medicare. It includes Part A and Part B coverage and oftentimes Part D (prescription drug) as well. Medicare Advantage is offered by a number of traditional health insurers and is under contract by the federal government to supply Medicare coverage. Beyond Parts A, B, and D, Medicare Advantage plans often carry wellness programs as well as specialty insurance products, such as dental, hearing, and vision care.
- Medicare Supplement or Medigap Insurance - Supplement or Medigap policies cover the expenses not covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B as Medicare pays only a portion of the costs of care. The type of costs that Supplement insurance cover are generally the expenses of coinsurance and deductibles.
- Health Care Reform - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), a federal statute signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 make up the Health Care Reform of 2010. The laws focus on reform of the private health insurance market, such as providing better coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, improving prescription drug coverage in Medicare, and extending the life of the Medicare Trust fund by at least 12 years, among other things.
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