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Medicare Options Expats Should Know About

Health insurance in the US is one of the most complicated issues that usually confuse all expats. That is not a surprise because most of the Americans are not entirely clear with this system either and the only thing they are sure about is that it is quite expensive. Expats from Europe are probably more confused since health system in the US is entirely different than in most of their, European countries. Above all, there is a widespread belief that only the wealthy can afford to pay this insurance since it is mostly provided by huge companies. Although this is true, many expats are not aware that even in the US there is a national social insurance program.
Medicare All About
US federal government is administering this program ever since 1966, and it is providing health insurance for all, aged 65 and older who have worked and paid into the system. Also, younger people with disabilities, end-stage renal disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are covered with the program. Altogether, in 2010 Medicare provided health insurance to almost 48 million Americans which may seem like a surprise for most of the expats reading this particular text. People who did not have a chance to work long enough to be qualified to Medicare privileges may still be eligible to enroll, but they will have to pay a little bit more. During the last five decades, Medicare services have changed and adjusted to the modern needs, and that is why there are four distinct parts or types of Medicare program called A, B, C and D. The first two parts are often called "the Original Medicare" because they are the oldest and available for users since 1966. Medicare Part A concerns everything related to Hospital Insurance; Part B is Medical Insurance; Medicare Part D includes many prescription drugs. Part C is the most popular insurance due to some benefits it provides. Here is some thorough info about all of the health plans mentioned above because you should know it.
Medicare Part A
This program covers most of the hospital stay expenses such as inpatient hospital care, limited time in a skilled healing care facility, home health care services, and hospice care. So basically if you are staying in a hospital up to 60 days or 20 days max in a skilled nursing facility Part A will settle all your costs. You will have to pay yourself everything above these limits so try not to get very sick.
Medicare Part B
This kind of insurance relates to some non-hospital medical cases, and it is very useful to have them. Should you move to the United States, you can decide to purchase Medicare part B. Then you have the chance to arrange free office visits to your doctor, free blood tests, diabetic screenings or outpatient hospital care. But it is also significant to know how to get this kind of medical insurance. Once you decide to have it, you will have to pay a monthly premium for this particular part of Original Medicare. But, you will also handle a part of your health care costs. Namely, if something happens, you will pay 20% of your health care costs. However, Medicare will pay almost all your lab tests.
Medicare Part C
This kind of health insurance is also known as Medicare Advantage. Its name says it all because Medicare Part C covers every type of coverage in one health plan. So basically, you have everything included in this health plan. However, if you want to enroll in Part C health insurance, you will have to pay for both Medicare Part A and B as well. When you have Medicare Advantage insurance, then you also have drug coverage within the health plan and many other benefits. One of them considers the possibility to have free eye exams, dental care or hearing aids. But perhaps the best advantage is that if you travel a lot, you will have health care even outside the United States. So, if you are an expat who lives in the USA, you will have the opportunity to travel to your parent state for a visit and to have still a full health care.
Medicare Part D
Part D of Medicare is reserved for optional prescription drug coverage. It is available in many ways. For instance, you can have it within the Part C plan, or you can pay for it separately, in case you don’t have a Medicare Advantage. But one thing is for sure, you will have to pay some of the costs for your prescriptions, even though you have paid for this coverage. Of course, this depends on whether you have satisfied deductible or not. Should you decide to take part D insurance then, you should check it every year. Thus, you have the chance to see whether the plan you have chosen covers medications you need. If it does not, you can change it for a new one.
So, being an expat and living in another country is not an easy task today, especially when it comes to solving all the administrative issues and the ones such as health and insurance. That is why reading about them and finding out more details in time is extremely beneficial. For all the expats who need more information about the health plans offered by Medicare, these were the most crucial details.
August 20, 2015 00:00:00


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