Medicare Parts A & B

  • The Federal national health insurance program for those ages 65 and older or for those collecting Social Security disability benefits.
  • Eligibility begins on the first of the month that you turn age 65 or have collected Social Security disability benefits for two years.
  • Part A. (hospitalization) is generally free to you.
  • Part B (physician and other charges) you must voluntarily elect and pay for monthly.
  • The good news is that eligibility for both is guaranteed regardless of health (which means that you can't be turned down for Parkinson's!).
  • The bad news is that Medicare has at least three significant shortcomings: 
    • No coverage traveling outside the United States or Canada
    • No coverage for medical charges that exceed what Medicare will allow (i.e., if Medicare allows $30,000 toward your $50,000 heart surgery bill, you’re out $20,000
    • A 90-day-limit on hospitalization (plus 60 bonus days that can be used once-in-a-lifetime).
  • All three shortcomings can be covered by a good Medicare supplement policy.
  • Be wary though. A high percentage of Medicare supplements being sold on the market do not protect you for all three gaps.

Content for this section provided by Jack Hungelmann, who has had PD since 1996.

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