Thursday, April 16, 2015

What every 64-year-old needs to know about Medicare

 What every 64-year-old needs to know about Medicare 

When you are about to turn 65, expect to get inundated with direct mail offers for Medicare plans.

You have several choices to make for your Medicare Insurance:

Original Medicare (Part A & B)
Medigap (Medicare Supplemental)
Part D (A Medicare Advantage drug plan)
Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage with Part D

Things you need to know:

Medicare is not free, there are costs involved.

 When you become eligible for Medicare you need to enroll in Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). In most instances, you have to pay a premium for Part B. If you enroll in a Part D (Medicare Advantage Drug Plan), Medicare Advantage or a Medigap (Medicare supplement) plan generally there is an additional premium.

You must sign up, it is not automatic.

You have seven months to sign up for Part A and B, Part D or a Medicare Advantage plan when you become eligible. If you become eligible when you turn 65, that period begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turned 65. You have a six-month guaranteed issue Open Enrollment Period to purchase a Medigap policy.

There are penalties if you DO NOT sign up. 

If you don’t enroll in Part A, Part B or Part D when becoming eligible there may be penalties involved, some of which you may be required to pay for as long as you have Medicare.

You can switch plans during the Annual Open Enrolment Period or Special Election Periods.

The annual Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Part D election period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. You may want to change plan carriers or from a HMO plan to a PPO plan, or opt for another type of plan.

Shop around, extra benefits, premiums, co-pays and deductibles can vary between plans.

Some Medicare Advantage plans provide extra benefits Medicare alone does not like Vision, Dental and Hearing.

 When looking for the plan that fits your needs some things to consider are: 

Medicare Advantage Plan Ratings, Medicare rates each plan from one to five stars, the higher the better
Premium rates are important but are only part of your costs
There will be out-of-pocket costs (copays, coinsurance and deductibles)
Needs vary. For example, a husband and wife may choose different plans based on individual needs.
For personalized help and insight get in touch with your local Insurance Agent

John Ashford
Ashford Insurance Services, LLC

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