Medicare basics and the religious non-medical healthcare institution
Medicare is our nation’s federal health insurance program for individuals who are 65 years of age or older or have certain disabling health conditions. The program has four parts:
- Medicare Part A pays for institutional health care, such as care in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or a religious nonmedical health care institution (RNHCI), the category under which Christian Science nursing facilities fit under the Medicare law. Most people do not have to pay a premium for Part A.
- Medicare Part B pays for noninstitutional health care services, such as ambulance services, durable medical equipment (e.g., wheelchairs, canes), laboratory tests, and doctor visits. Everyone must pay a monthly premium for Part B. The premium changes annually. You may opt out of Part B. However it is required for Medigap insurance.
- Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) is an alternative to Medicare Parts A and B. People enrolled in these plans are required to receive all of their health care through private managed care plans that contract with the federal government. These plans require monthly premiums that vary by plan.
- Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage through private health plans. Many, but not all, of these plans require monthly premiums.