Medicare

Medicare is a U.S. federal program that provides health coverage for people aged 65 or older or with certain disabilities. Freelancers contribute to this program through their self-employment tax.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage to people who are 65 or older, as well as to people with certain disabilities and those with end-stage renal disease. It is divided into four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D.

Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care. Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, and some preventive services. Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is an alternative to traditional Medicare and allows beneficiaries to receive their Medicare benefits through a private insurance company. Part D covers prescription drugs.

How is Medicare funded?

Medicare is funded through a combination of payroll taxes, premiums paid by beneficiaries, and general revenue from the federal government. Workers and their employers each pay a 1.45% Medicare tax on all wages, and higher earners pay an additional 0.9% tax. Beneficiaries also pay premiums for Part B and Part D coverage, and some may pay premiums for Part A coverage if they do not have enough work history to qualify for premium-free Part A.

What are the eligibility requirements for Medicare?

To be eligible for Medicare, you must be 65 or older, or have a qualifying disability or medical condition. You must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least five years.

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage to people with low income and limited resources. It covers a wider range of services than Medicare, including long-term care, dental care, and vision care. Eligibility for Medicaid varies by state and is based on income and other factors.

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