Medicare is a government operated insurance program offered to seniors and people with disabilities. In 2015, over $646 billion in Medicare spending was tallied for the year. This number accounts for approximately 20% of the total national healthcare spending allowance. The current Medicare rules allow a patient to pay nothing for their annual checkups, and for other screenings including mammograms and colonoscopies. However, there is so much more to know about Medicare, including the Medicare payment guidelines and what the insurance will and will not cover. Although that is information that you need to learn firsthand through Medicare, we can provide you with 4 important facts below. These are facts that you should know if you are a Medicare recipient or plan to be soon.

1. You must enroll in time

Medicare payment guidelines

Timely enrollment is important for anyone who is applying for Medicare. If you are receiving Social Security benefits by the age of 65, Medicare is automatically done, however no one else will automatically be enrolled. When you enroll in time, you will not have to pay more than other people. But, if you do not enroll in time you may pay more than the average Medicare recipient. You can sign up within 3 months of your 65th birthday, during the month of your birthday, or the 3 months following your birthday to maintain those low payments. Remember, Medicare payment guidelines are very strict, so you need to apply on time to avoid any headaches or frustrations.

2. There are several types of Medicare

The original Medicare includes part A and B. Part A and B cover health care fees such as hospital visits and medical expenses. Most people who are on Medicare also add Part D to their plan. Part D Medicare covers prescription drugs, including those for diabetes.  Medicare Advantage is also available. Some people call Medicare Advantage part C, however, this is offered by private insurance agencies.  Most of the Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage greater than the traditional plans.

3- All fees aren’t covered

It is true that Medicare will cover a lot of your health care expenses, however, do not expect it to cover them all.  In fact, they leave out some of the things that you would suspect that it would cover. Part A Medicare coverage will pay for inpatient hospital care, sometimes home health care and hospice care, and for care in a nursing home. Part B Medicare will cover services rendered from Physicians, services from health care providers, and tests like lab tests.  Other items are also included in the fees that Medicare will pay.  However, you will also find that Medicare does not cover some things, such as vision, hearing, and dental expenses. Also, do not expect Medicare to do a lot for home health help.

4- Medicare is not free

Some people pay very little for Medicare coverage, but it is never free, and some people pay quite a large sum of money for it. Part A has deductibles, although it is free for the most part. The deductible is not a simple deductible like many insurance plans. There are monthly premiums on part B Medicare coverage, which average a rate of $134 for most people in the 2017 year.