ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Decode Medicare Mumbo Jumbo

Updated on February 17, 2014

Oh, the Tangled Web of Medicare Terminology

The language used to describe the structure of Medicare is overwhelming.

It is true that (or defines the terminology. Unfortunately, definitions fail to help understand the complexities of this powerful entitlement.

Case in Point

For example, if you have medical insurance through an employer or on your own before age 65, you likely pay one premium or your employer handles payment.

Under Medicare, depending on your circumstances, you could be paying three premiums for the following:

  • Medicare Part B (doctors fees).
  • Medicare supplemental plan (to cover what Medicare Part A and B do not).
  • Medicare Part D (prescriptions).

Even if I thoroughly defined all the terms used in the previous paragraph, you might still be befuddled.


At first, I was hoping that I somehow wouldn't ever have to deal with the program. But my mom needed help picking drug prescription plans and I got involved.

Now, I am approaching the age of 65 and will need to apply for what I've paid into for many years. How do I even start understanding the mumbo jumbo and get my questions answered?

Finding a Solution to the Medicare Mumbo Jumbo

I wonder how the government succeeds in making a simple entitlement so complex. Seriously, supply me with one-stop medical insurance - hospital, dental, prescriptions, doctors, nursing care, equipment, and tests. Stop with all the choices. That's what complicates the issues.

Help Me - Please!

So, I went looking for help.

The answers were nowhere and everywhere. Sources like these supplied information -, the optometrist who just started Medicare, the relative who recently applied, and the local insurance companies who CANNOT write simple promotional literature.

I had more information than I needed but none of it helped - not really.

AARP to the rescue. Whatever you may think of this association, they came to the rescue with a book entitled Medicare For Dummies. The author, Patricia Barry, an AARP senior editor, says that "People are totally baffled by Medicare."

More about this book in the next section.

Be Honest!

Do You Find Medicare Terminology Confusing?

See results

Hate the Dummies Titles

But in this case, I am a dummy and I admit it.

Let the decoding begin . . .

Day 1

From the moment I opened the Medicare For Dummies book (and I did order the paperback version so I could write in it) I knew I was home.

I jumped right into "when you are eligible" and "how to apply." In the first 5 minutes the book paid for itself.

In my case, I need to go down to the local Social Security office and apply. I could apply online or on the phone, but then I would need to send original documents like a marriage and birth certificate through the mail. That ain't happening.

Now I know what documents I need. Note that you may need other stuff depending on your unique circumstances.

Continuing to Traditional Medicare

Day 2

On Day 2 reading the dummy book, the dummy found out the difference between traditional Medicare and the Medicare Advantage plans. The book tables the differences and points out why you need to be careful which one you pick. Again, this is an individual choice based on your circumstances. YOU need to pick which is best for you - traditional or Advantage.

Also on Day 2 I found out why prescription plans are not all the same. It depends on what drugs you are taking, where you live, and how much you want to spend. Cudos the the lucky peeps who don't need to take drugs.

I will continue to review this book to complete my plan for applying for medicare and for buying additional insurance.

Obviously, I am strongly recommending Medicare for Dummies. Buy it now or struggle for a very L-O-N-G time!

Medicare for Dummies Author Speaks

Please Comment on the Contents of Medicare for Dummies

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)