By now, we all know about the dreaded fee for not having health coverage. Retiring seniors on Medicare may think they are covered but in reality may not be. In the healthcare world Medicare stands alone. It does not participate in the Health Insurance Marketplace available for families, businesses and individuals to get healthcare coverage. You can’t just buy Medicare in the marketplace. In fact if you qualify for Medicare in some cases it is even illegal to do so since you may receive double coverage. The only exception is if your employer provides you with a private insurance plan. Then you may go play in the Marketplace.
Keep in mind that in the Marketplace you won’t find Medigap insurance plans, Medicare Advantage Plans or even Medicare Plan D plans. For these you have to enroll through a Medicare Insurance agency that can provide you with a myriad of Medicare options and help you choose one that best fits your needs.
But let’s go back to coverage. If you already have Medicare, should you be wary of the no-coverage fee? If you have Medicare Part A coverage, then you should be just fine. Medicare Part A, or hospital insurance, is considered minimum essential coverage by the government. However, if you only have a Medicare Part B plan, or medical insurance without hospital coverage, you will have to pay a fee. Medicare Part B plans are not minimum essential coverage, which makes sense since hospitalizations are a huge part of healthcare.