Definition of Medicare – What to know in 2022

Medicare is a federal health insurance coverage. It covers young people with disabilities, people with End-Stage Renal Disease, and people aged 65 or older. Medicare has different plans available, each with its own set of benefits.

These plans are divided into different parts that cover specific services outlined below: 

Medicare Part A – Hospital insurance. It caters to inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care services. It also helps cover the cost of certain medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers. 

Medicare Part B – Medical insurance. It covers doctor visits, outpatient care, and preventive services. Additionally, laboratory tests, mental health care, durable medical equipment, and home health services. 

Medicare Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans. Private insurance companies offer these plans and provide coverage for Medicare-covered services. They include hospitalization, doctor visits, and prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage Plans include additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental coverage. 

Medicare Part D – Prescription drug coverage. It Covers prescription drugs, including several vaccines or shots. 

Medicare Supplement Insurance is an option for people with Medicare Part A and Part B who need additional coverage. It pays out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Medicare Supplement Insurance plans don’t cover Medicare Part C services. 


To qualify for Medicare, you must be a U.S. citizen or have lived in the U.S. legally for at least five years. You must be 65 or older and receiving social security or railroad retirement benefits. You qualify for Medicare if you or your spouse is a government employee or retiree who has paid Medicare payroll taxes for at least ten years. 

If you are below 65, you must have a disability that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. You should receive social security disability benefits for at least 24 months. You automatically qualify for Medicare if you have Lou Gehrig’s disease or permanent kidney failure. 

Suppose you meet the eligibility criteria for Medicare. In that case, you can sign up for Medicare during the Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). It is seven months long and begins three months before your 65th birthday. If you do not register during your IEP, you will have to wait for the General Enrollment Period (GEP) from January 1 to March 31 each year. However, you may have to pay the penalty if you do not enroll during the GEP. 

Advantages of Medicare 

Medicare provides access to quality healthcare without needing expensive private insurance plans. It helps you stay healthy and protect your finances. Medicare is a U.S. government program, giving you peace of mind that your coverage will be there when you need it most. 

Medicare is much more affordable than private health insurance. It offers more comprehensive coverage than most private health insurance plans. With Medicare, you are guaranteed to find a suitable plan regardless of your health history or pre-existing conditions. 

The main con of Medicare is that it can be difficult to find doctors who accept Medicare patients. Medicare does not cover all medical costs. Patients may have to pay out-of-pocket for some services. 

Medicare 2022 

Medicare 2022’s biggest change has been higher premiums and deductibles. The depletion of the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund has made congress consider several proposals. Beneficiaries have the highest increase in part B premiums. The increase is due to the following: 

  • The healthcare system faced a hike in prices and utilization. This hike was due to the Covid-19 pandemic. High use and increased intensity of care provided lead to a fast depletion. This depletion necessitated a premium increase.
  • Following the pandemic in 2020, congress lowered the monthly premiums. It allowed beneficiaries to afford critical healthcare. Consequently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has to pay back the reduced premiums from 2022.
  • The CMS also decided to set up contingency reserves for possibly introducing an Alzheimer’s drug. Medicare will cover this drug. This high-cost medicine will significantly increase Medicare expenditure once they roll it out.

In 2022, Medicare has focused on mental health coverage using telehealth. They provide mental and behavioral health services via the phone. This coverage also includes counseling, therapy, and treatment of substance use disorders. Medicare also covered telehealth visits. Rural health clinics and government-qualified health centers offer these visits. 

Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for a CMS part D improved program. This program sets a monthly limit for insulin costs. Medicare Advantage plans allow beneficiaries to customize their coverage to meet their individual needs. 

It’s important to understand the changes Medicare makes each year and what they mean for you. With the right information, you can ensure you have the coverage that best meets your needs. Taking the time to learn about Medicare, its different plans, and its benefits ensure you get the most out of it. 


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