healthcare system

A Guide to Medicare for new U.S. Citizens

Hundreds of thousands of people are adopting America as their new home every year. In the past ten years, more than seven million immigrants have become naturalized citizens in the United States. The average number of people who became naturalized each year from 2001 to 2016 is 682,752.

Medicare is unlike any other healthcare system they are used to. Therefore, educating them about their potential new health insurance is a must.

What is Medicare?

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Medicare is the federally regulated health insurance program for Americans who are either 65+ years old or disabled. An American citizen can obtain Medicare coverage once they age into it or once they have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least two years.

There are two original parts of Medicare, Part A and Part B. Medicare Part A is your hospital stay coverage, while Medicare Part B is your outpatient doctor service coverage.

If you have lived in the United States for at least ten years, and have been paying Medicare taxes the entire time, you can earn premium-free Part A just like an American born citizen. However, if you (or as spouse) haven’t paid into the system for at least ten years, then you will owe a monthly premium for Part A.

As of 2019, your Part A monthly premium will either be $437 or $240, depending on how long you’ve been paying into Medicare.

Unlike its counterpart, Part B’s premium isn’t paid for through Medicare taxes. Instead, you have to buy Part B and pay for it each month, regardless of your work experience. In 2019, most people pay $135.50 per month for Medicare Part B.

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Additional Parts of Medicare

Other parts of Medicare include Medicare Part C, Part D, and Medigap plans. Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage; a type of Medicare plan to help lower your out-of-pocket costs. Part D is your retail prescription drug coverage through Medicare. Medigap plans are another type of plan to help lower your out-of-pocket costs with Medicare.

All three of these are technically optional. However, you can be billed a late penalty if you don’t enroll in a Part D plan when you’re first eligible. Your penalty is based on how long you waited to enroll in Part D, starting from the time you became Medicare eligible.

Each one of these parts of Medicare has an additional premium that you pay per month on top of your Part A and Part B premiums. Premiums for these plans and parts depends on factors such as age, location, plan, carrier, and more. Click here to learn more
and find out if you need a supplemental Medicare plan.

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When and How You Can Get Medicare as a New Citizen

Once you have finalized your naturalization and are officially an American citizen, you can get Medicare as soon as you meet one of the qualifications mentioned above. You will have a seven-month enrollment period to enroll.

The period will start on the first of the month, that is three months before your 65th birthday. Your enrollment period will end on the last day of the month, that is three months after your birthday. For instance, if your birthday in June 23rd, your enrollment period will begin March 1st and will end September 30th.

To apply online for Part A and/or Part B, you can go to ssa.gov. You can also apply in person at your local Social Security office. To apply for the other parts mentioned, you will need to apply through the carrier themselves or a broker such as Boomer Benefits who represents them. You will not enroll in these types of plans through Medicare.

If You Can’t Afford Medicare

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Because Medicare Part A can be expensive if you haven’t worked in the United States for very long, you may decide to delay enrolling in Medicare until you can afford it. This is fine to do if you have creditable coverage.

To obtain creditable coverage, you must actively work for an employer who has at least twenty employees, and you must be enrolled in their group health plan. This not only helps you save up a little longer for Medicare but also allows you to pay into Medicare taxes a bit longer so you can try to lower your Part A premium.

If you have any questions about enrolling in Medicare as a new U.S. citizen, call your local Social Security office.

The Potential Advantages Of Integrative Medicine

Our society is constantly moving forward yet it seems that some areas have stopped and simply don’t adapt to the modern approaches. Now, if you are living in the US, you probably now what we are talking about. Yes, the healthcare system. And we are not talking about specialists who aren’t educated – no, there are more than enough extremely good individuals who do their job as is and much better than anyone would expect; we are talking about health system as an area that has problems with adapting any methods that are outside of conventional medicine. Saying this, we mostly think about the uprising specialty called integrative medicine.

Now, integrative medicine is becoming more popular and there are a lot of primary care physicians who are starting to use this approach. But how does it differ from conventional medicine and does it really outweigh the traditional treatments and methods? Well, integrative medicine does combine a holistic approach with medical principles there have been there for centuries. The thing is, this kind of approach offers for a much better relationship between the patient and a primary care physician which can in terms lead to better treatment results as well. Still, this specialty has yet to grow and we cannot come with a final verdict on it, but from what we know for now it does have more than a few advantages over conventional medicine. Let’s have a look.

How Can Integrative Medicine Outweigh Conventional Methods

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1. First and foremost, the main difference between integrative and conventional medicine is that the first one focuses more on prevention. Instead of waiting for the disease to occur it uses a more preventive approach educating potential patients on the matter, and how to maintain over health and wellness It also focuses on mind-body medicine and the fact that almost every disease comes from the state of mind.

2. As mentioned above, the integrative medicine goes for a more holistic approach where the primary care physician does inspect all the factors that could have had affected the patient’s current condition. What does this mean? Well, while the conventional medicine only looks at organs and how to make things better, integrative medicine includes factors like environment, social situation, mental well-being and lifestyle habits that could have affected the current condition.

3. Integrative medicine has a goal to create a much better relationship between the patient and primary care physician – a relationship that is based on understanding and collaboration. And that is the reason why it might yield better results – a healthcare system where patient knows that his condition and factors that surround it are properly treated and looked at.

4. The reason that it can be so effective is that it combines allopathic methods, with alternative treatments and certain principles that conventional medicine has been lying on for centuries. As it can be used both to prevent and treat the disease, integrative medicine seems to be just the thing that our healthcare system needs.

Summary

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As you can see, there are numerous benefits that integrative medicine could allow. It is yet to be developed and practiced so before more years and empirical results we can’t come out with a final verdict – still, we can safely say that it does come with positive and good intentions, and if applied well, it can be revolutionizing for the health system that we know.

Over the past few decades, it has been noticed a significant drop in the quality of our healthcare system. We can often hear about physicians that opt for a wrong treatment, or they are wrong with the diagnosis. Those and the lack of respect that people get from public healthcare centers are the reasons why so many are seeking help from private healthcare centers.