My father is in his 70's. He was a self-employed professional who never put away any money for retirement. He is now living on a rural property that he owns, but his only monetary assets would be his social security check, which he spends by the end of the month. I'm trying to figure out what the financial consequences would be if he got seriously ill, and whether there is anything I can do or convince him to do that would help to make his outcome better. He is not willing to get vaccinated against covid, and in general he is not willing to have realistic discussions about topics like healthcare or long-term care.
If he paid medicare tax as he was required to while self-employed, he is probably eligible for free medicare part A. However, he's told me he "doesn't have medicare because of the premiums," which I assume means that he never signed up for medicare at all because of the part B premiums.
If I'm understanding the system correctly (which is a big if), then this means that he could still sign up for part A, but it's hard to see how that would actually help him. If he wound up hospitalized with covid or some other illness, part A coverage seems like it would basically cut the hospital's losses, but the drugs and services not covered by part A would drain his monetary assets on the first day. It looks like he could enroll late in part B, but there would be a heavy penalty, which I think would make it even less attractive to him now than before.
Is my analysis correct? If he has medical bills that he can't pay, can they come after his social security check and his house? Is there anything I can do or suggest that could help lead to a better set of probable outcomes for him?