Medicare Basics


When it’s time to start learning about Medicare, it can be very overwhelming. Medicare and Social Security are complex, but we can make it simple for you.

At MediSource, we take this part of your life very seriously and understand how hard it can be to figure it out on your own. If at any point you’d like to sit down with us, we can give you a full consultation.

We’ll teach you how Medicare works and let you know what your Medicare plan options are here in the state of Arkansas.

If you’re just starting to learn about Medicare, you’re probably wondering about some of the basics. Let’s go over how Medicare works as well as the different Medicare parts you need to be aware of.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a health insurance program administered by the federal government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities, and individuals at any age with End-Stage Renal Disease.

It’s so important to know right off the bat that Medicare doesn’t cover everything. For example, long-term care and most dental care aren’t covered. That’s why most Medicare enrollees choose to supplement their Medicare coverage, but we’ll get to that.

Original Medicare consists of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). There is also a Part D (drug insurance) and a Part C (alternative option to Medicare called Medicare Advantage).

In addition, there are Medigap plans (also called Medicare Supplements) that fill in some of the gaps of Original Medicare.

That can be quite a bit to take in, so let’s go over Medicare Parts A and B first.

Medicare Part A | Hospital Insurance

Medicare Part A is a type of hospital insurance plan provided by Medicare.

Part A coverage includes inpatient care in hospitals, nursing homes, nursing facilities, and other similar institutions. If you meet specific requirements, you may also be eligible for hospice or home health care.

Part A does not include long-term or custodial care. The coverage provided for inpatient care is limited to 60 days at $0 coinsurance. After 60 days, you’ll be responsible for coinsurance.

You usually do not pay a premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. In most cases, you will automatically be signed up for Part A. If you are not eligible for premium-free Part A, you may be able to buy Part A if you meet certain requirements.

If you are not sure whether or not you have Part A, look on your red, white, and blue Medicare card. It will show “Hospital Part A” on the bottom of the card.

Medicare Card Example

Medicare Part B | Medical Insurance

Part B coverage offers medically necessary doctor’s services, outpatient care, and most other services that Part A does not cover.

These may include physical or occupational therapies and some home health care services. Part B also covers some preventive services.

Most people have to pay a premium for Part B.

Learn more about Medicare Costs

If you choose not to sign up for Part B when you’re able, there is a penalty involved. The cost of Part B may go up 10% for each 12-month period that you could have had Part B but did not sign up for it, except in special cases. You will have to pay this extra 10% for the rest of your life.

Enrolling in Part B is your choice, but if you’re not sure whether or not you should, please contact us at MediSource! We will help you determine whether or not you need Medicare Part B right now, which can save you the headache of paying a future penalty.

When you’re ready, you can sign up for Part B anytime during a 7-month period that begins 3 months before you turn 65. We’ll help you!

Call 501-916-2935 or email us at for more information.

Medicare Part D | Prescription Drug Coverage

There is another part of Medicare called Part D that offers coverage for your prescription drugs and medications. While Part D is completely optional, there is a penalty if you choose not to sign up. That penalty ultimately gets added to your monthly premium when you do decide to enroll.

There are dozens of Part D plans available, and each one is slightly different. Each plan has its own list of covered drugs called a “formulary.” This is why it’s so important to get help when choosing a drug plan!

Our Part D service is something we pride ourselves on. Many insurance salesmen in our area do not provide a Part D service, but we truly enjoy helping you save money on your drug coverage.

In order to shop the market for you, we need to know which prescriptions you currently take to make sure they are on your desired plan’s formulary. We then take a look at the plan’s costs, which will include a monthly premium, a drug deductible, and copays at the pharmacy.

Sometimes it pays to go to one pharmacy over another, and we can walk you through that process.

You get to sign up for or switch drug plans each year during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which lasts from October 15-December 7.

Call 501-916-2935 or email us at for more information.

Calling the number above will direct you to a licensed insurance agent.