"Who qualifies for Medicare?"
All American residents (both citizens and permanent residents) above the age of 65 qualify for Part A Medicare if any of the followings is satisfied:
· anybody who is entitled to Social Security benefits
· anybody who is entitled to Railroad Retirement benefit
· ex-government workers with pre-set number of years during which there were payments made to the Medicare
· anybody's spouse (living, divorced, or ill) who satisfy the above
For anyone above 65 and not readily qualify for Medicare, the alternative is to pay a premium in order to enjoy the benefits.
On the other scale, there could be people under 65 and yet qualifies for Medicare; patients of Lou Gehrig’s disease and those at end stage renal disease are some who belong to this category.
By extension, people who qualify for Part A Medicare also get to enjoy the benefits of Part B Medicare. Between the two variations of Medicare, Part A is free program whereas Part B requires some premium to be paid into it. Alternatively, those who are not eligible for Part A can simply choose to pay for Part B under certain conditions.
The US government started the Part A Medicare originally intended
to help cover hospital fees and today it continues to be operated by the government. Part B was formulated later as a form of healthcare insurance for senior residents and the coverage is more extensive that it covers visits to doctors, outpatient treatment, etc.
In addition to the Part A and B mentioned earlier, there are also Part C and Part D (those qualify for A & B invariably qualify for these two as well). Part C is actually a replacement of parts A and B with additional premium. It represents a more comprehensive plan which includes prescription drug benefits. On the other hand, Part D extends benefits of prescription drug benefits to people on Parts A and B.
The American hospitals follow the universal policy to save life first before any payment consideration. But be mindful that the ambulance you requested to send you to hospital could set you back easily by a couple of hundred dollars, and you are fully expected to foot the expense resulting from the medical treatment. If you are under cover by some insurance policy, you would usually still be required to come out with portion of the cost for the hospital visit. The full bill would usually be sent you through mail.