Medicare benefits are designed for those 65 and older and are funded from payroll taxes and premiums which are deposited in trust funds. In exceptional cases, people younger than 65 may qualify for Medicare benefits, such as those suffering from End Stage Renal disease, which is a permanent failure of the kidneys. Medicare benefits vary from state to state and there are special plans designed to cover the “gaps” that are usually not listed as conventional Medicare benefits, such as dental coverage.
Prescription drugs are included in most Medicare benefits packages, although the consumer is usually required to pay a certain amount out of pocket. Along with Medicare benefits package, the consumer is usually given a discount card for prescriptions which often mean a savings of 16% to 30% off prescription drugs, and an even greater savings if the drugs are purchased by mail. Low income singles or families often earn credit towards their prescriptions in addition to the discounts provide by most Medicare benefits packages.
The consumer can obtain Medicare benefits through a list of local providers such as pharmacies, hospitals, doctors, and cases where these services are offered, dentists, optometrists and psychotherapists. Nursing homes may be partially covered by Medicare benefits. It is estimated that 40% of all adults will spend a certain amount of time in a nursing home. Many assume that nursing homes are covered by Medicare, but this depends on the home and the type of care provided.
Medicare recipients have the option of subscribing to Medicare Preferred Provider plan. This plan is best for those who prefer to work with a specific doctor who is not covered by regular Medicare benefits, or who don’t mind investing a small fee for additional coverage. Some find that it is worth the extra money for more coverage and a larger variety of providers and others are satisfied with regular Medicare benefits. The choice depends on the recipients individual preferences and needs.