Medicare is a government-sponsored health insurance program purposely created to foster the health care needs of individuals 65 years of age or older, people with certain physical or mental health conditions, and persons afflicted with End-Stage Renal Disease.

Types of Medicare Plans

There are 2 types of Medicare health plans a beneficiary can choose. He can either avail the Original Medicare Plan (OMP) or the Medicare Advantage Plan (MAP). Hospital insurance (also known as Part A) and medical insurance (Part B) are both covered under OMP. On the other hand, MAP includes both of Part A and B, plus other kinds of medical coverage not provided by OMP. Medicare Advantage Plan's benefits are more extensive compared with Original Medicare Plan.

Moreover, with OMP, the beneficiary can choose which doctor, hospital, or other kinds of medical providers he wants to attend to his health-related needs. This option to choose a health care provider is not allowed in MAP because this plan is administered by private insurance companies (approved by Medicare). It has a set of specific medical providers and facilities that the beneficiary can use.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare offers a long list of advantages to anyone who qualifies for the program. The types of health insurance coverage an eligible individual could receive are:

  • Hospital insurance (Part A)—helps cover the costs for hospital stays, specialized nursing care facility, hospice care and home health care services
  • Medical Insurance (Part B)—helps cover expenses for the services of health care professionals, costs of medical supplies necessary to examine and cure the patient's illness
  • Both Part A and Part B are under the Original Medicare Plan.
  • Medicare Advantage (Part C)—helps cover costs for urgent and emergency care, prescription drugs, services covered on Part A and B excluding hospice care, and health and wellness programs
  • Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)—helps cover medical prescription drugs expenses; this coverage can be availed in both OMP and MAP

Custodial Care

Custodial care involves helping an individual with daily personal needs. This is most commonly needed by elderly individuals, although younger individuals can also require custodial care. This does not include medical needs to which a doctor or nurse would have to attend but help with only day-to-day needs. Providing custodial care could include feeding a client or helping him or her with hygiene or with taking daily supplements. Medicare covers custodial care as long as it is performed in a nursing home or another type of long-term care facility. Medicare does not provide coverage for individuals to receive custodial care at home. 

Is a patient lift covered by Medicare?

If you need a patient lift, a lift for getting in and out of bed, for example, you could potentially use Medicare to help pay for it. However, you will not be able to purchase the lift with funds from Medicare. If you want to utilize Medicare, you will have to rent the lift from a hospital supply or other type of store. At that point, Medicare will cover 80 percent of the cost of renting the lift for a maximum of 13 months. You will have to pay for the other 20 percent of the cost out of pocket, and you will have to pay for it all after 13 months.

How many times will Medicare pay for chemotherapy?

If you have Medicare, chemotherapy is a covered treatment that they should pay for. If you have Medicare Parts A and B, you should be able to get chemotherapy paid for as long as it is recommended by your physician. If she recommends it more than once, Medicare will pay for it. You will most likely still have to pay 20 percent of the cost of the chemotherapy out of pocket or with funds from a Medigap insurance plan. You will also have to pay an annual deductible in order to get this type of treatment. 

Does Medicare pay for dentures?

If you have Medicare, dentures are something that will generally not be covered under your health coverage. Regular Medicare plans do not cover any kind of dental services and will not pay for dentures. The only possible exception to this rule is if you choose a specific type of Medicare Advantage plan. With this type of plan, you will choose to receive your Medicare benefits through a private insurance company that works with Medicare. Some of these plans do have optional dental services that you can pay for as part of your health insurance coverage. 

Does Medicare pay for Viagra?

Medicare can pay for Viagra in certain situations. If you have the Medicare prescription plan that pays for your prescriptions, then you could potentially get Viagra through the Medicare program. In order to get Viagra, you have to have a prescription for it, and it has to be determined that it is medically relevant. According to the rules of Medicare's prescription drug program, any drug that is determined to be medically relevant by the doctor has to be covered by Medicare. If you simply want it without any medical reason, you should not be able to get it.

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