Dodging Medicare's Hidden Traps: Know the basics | Heart and Vascular Health |

The Medicare website

provides the details, but it contains so much information that it can be difficult to navigate. Here is the very least you need to know.


Medicare Basics

Part A,  =>  no premium, is hospital insurance. has a deductible of $1,156 that covers hospital stays up to 60 days, copayments of $289/ day for days 61-90, and copayments of $578 a day for days 91-150 days.


Part B => optional insurance that covers doctors' bills, labs & outpatient care. The basic premium is $99.90/ month (can be as high as $319.70 for an individual earning > $214,000 annually), and deductible is $140/ year. Copays are 20% of Medicare-approved amounts.


Part D,  => covers prescription drugs, has a monthly base premium of $32.34 (high-income consumers pay more), in addition to a premium which varies by a plan. Copayments and deductibles also vary by plan.


If you receive Social Security, you will be enrolled automatically in parts A & B when you turn 65. If you aren't yet receiving Social Security, you have to apply for Medicare, (can do online)


The enrollment period for Part B and D begins three months before you turn 65 and lasts seven months. If you miss this enrollment window, your coverage will be delayed and your premiums will be higher.