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What Is Medicare? Medicare Parts and Plans Explained

According to Social Security, there are 10,000 Baby Boomers who turn 65 every day and become eligible to enroll in Medicare. Then they start receiving stacks of mail about Medicare Supplements, Part D, Advantage plans, broker postcards and mailers, books from the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) and Social Security (SSA). And phone calls. Some things are intended to inform, some to scare and anything from the CMS or SSA is important to keep! Download Medicare & You Handbook

Medicare is complicated and while there’s lots of credible information available, it is confusing. As an Independent Insurance Broker, I talk to these people every day. Some start planning months in advance and some wait until the last minute, but they are always looking for clarity about what might work best for them.

Facts About Medicare

  • Medicare Part A is government funded and covers hospitalizations. Most people don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A because they have paid into Medicare via payroll deductions.

  • Medicare Part B is also government funded and covers medical services delivered outside of a hospital, like doctor visits and outpatient labs or procedures. There is a monthly premium which is $134 for most people.

  • There are deductibles and co-insurance costs that you are responsible for with A & B, but you can choose private insurance to cover all or most of those costs.

You have two options: A Medicare Supplement plan which covers all or most of your medical costs. People like this option when they want to go to any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare and want predictable monthly payments. You will need an additional Part D prescription drug plan with this. You can enroll in an Medicare Advantage plan (HMO or PPO). These are network driven plans, so you’re limited to doctors or hospitals within the network, but the premiums are low.
  • People who have coverage through an employer don’t have to get Medicare, but it is sometimes less expensive or more comprehensive than their group plan.

  • If you don’t enroll in Part B or D when you’re supposed to, there can be penalties later when you do enroll.

Remember when I said Medicare is complicated? The plan that your sister, neighbor or best friend swears is the best might be for them, but not necessarily for you.

Do yourself a favor and save time by talking to an expert about your specific needs for Medicare. Book an Appointment Now!

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