Selecting a Medicare plan can make you feel like you fell into a bowl of alphabet soup... parts, plans, and letters. How do you sort it all out? Keep these basics in mind as you explore your Medicare choices:
Parts A and Part B are referred to as Original Medicare.
Part A covers Hospital expenses.
Part B covers all other approved medical expenses such as Doctor visits and lab work and you must have both A & B in order to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan.
Part D is Prescription Drug coverage which can be a stand-alone plan or included in a Part C Medicare Advantage Plan. For information on self-enrolling in a Part D Drug Plan, click here to use Medicare.gov's Medicare Plan Finder.
Part C also known as Medicare Advantage combines Original Medicare (A & B), adds Drug Coverage (Part D), and adds additional benefits. Part C is similar to employer group health plans, so they have network limitations.
Medicare Supplement Insurance (MediGap) works with Original Medicare (A & B) to cover the 20% of services that traditional Medicare does not pay for.
MedSupp Plans are referred to by letters, for example plan F, plan G, or Plan N and have different benefits by letter type.
Through our consultative approach, a Longevity Alliance licensed Health Plan Advisor explains the basics of Medicare, and helps you find the Medicare solution that best meets your needs.
At Longevity Alliance, we understand the importance to your financial security of finding the right health care plan with the right benefits and coverage at the right price. That's why we offer a choice of the most competitive, top rated Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans.
You will find that many of the aspects of Medicare are very similar to the health insurance you currently have - just different terms. One of the most important things to know is the deadline that applies to your situation. As someone new to Medicare, your initial enrollment period gives you special privileges - like qualifying for any Medicare Supplement Plan without answering medical questions. But it only applies for a limited time - so don't wait!
So no matter the reason you are new to Medicare, remember that the first thing you need to do is sign up for Part A and Part B of Medicare. Then, call us to help you sort through your options and find the right plan for you.
You are eligible for Medicare if you are 65 years old. You may be eligible if you are under age 65 if you qualify on the basis of disability or some other special situation. You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least five consecutive years.
Medicare is based on you, as an individual. If your spouse is 65, but you are not, you are not eligible for Medicare and must find other health coverage until you are 65 years old. You do not have to be retired or collecting Social Security to qualify for Medicare.
Signing up for Medicare starts at the Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov). They handle most of the paperwork for Medicare enrollment. If you are receiving retirement or disability or railroad retirement checks, you will be contacted a few months before you become eligible for Medicare and given the information you need. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you should sign up for Medicare Part A three months (3) before your 65th birthday.
When you first become eligible for hospital insurance (Part A), you have a seven-month period (your initial enrollment period) in which to sign up for medical insurance (Medicare Part B). Missing the deadline will cause a delay in coverage and result in higher premiums
If you are eligible at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65 and ends three months after that birthday. If you are eligible for Medicare based on disability or permanent kidney failure, your initial enrollment period depends on the date your disability or treatment began.
Signing up for Medicare is easy. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits signing up for Medicare on-line takes just minutes. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or visit their website at www.socialsecurity.gov for more information. For many, full retirement Social Security benefits begin at 66 now, later than Medicare eligibility which is still 65. So even if you are still working or delaying taking Social Security benefits until full retirement, sign up for Medicare Part A when you are first eligible. Still working? Check with your company’s benefit administrator to see how Medicare may work with your current coverage.
In order to buy Medicare Supplement insurance or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan you must sign up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) is premium free for almost everyone, but you do pay a monthly premium for medical insurance (Part B). If you already have other health insurance when you become eligible for Medicare, is it worth the monthly premium cost to sign up for Medicare insurance?
The answer varies with each person and the kind of other health insurance you may have. Although we cannot give you "yes" or "no" answers, we can offer a few tips that may be helpful when you make your decision.
If you have a private insurance plan
Get in touch with a Medicare Health Plan Advisor to see how your private plan fits with Medicare medical insurance. This is especially important if you have family members who are covered under the same policy. And remember, just as Medicare does not cover all health services, most private plans do not either. In planning your health insurance coverage, keep in mind that most nursing home care is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance policies. One important word of caution: for your own protection, do not cancel any health insurance you now have until your Medicare coverage actually begins.
If you have insurance from an employer-provided group health plan
Group health plans of employers with 20 or more employees are required by law to offer workers and their spouses who are age 65 (or older) the same health benefits that are provided to younger employees.
If you are currently covered under an employer provided group health plan, you should talk to your personnel office before you sign up for Medicare medical insurance.
If you have health care protection from other plans
If you have coverage under a program from the Department of Defense, your health benefits may change or end when you become eligible for Medicare. You should contact the Department of Defense or a military health benefits advisor for information before you decide whether to enroll in Medicare medical insurance.
If you have health care protection from the Indian Health Service, Department of Veterans Affairs or a state medical assistance program, contact the people in those offices to help you decide whether it is to your advantage to have Medicare medical insurance.
For more information on how other health insurance plans work with Medicare call the Medicare toll-free number 1-800-633-4227 or visit www.medicare.gov. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call TTY 1-877-486-2048.
Are you turning 65 soon and getting ready to sign up for Medicare? Confused about the choices in plans? Wondering how to find your way through the maze of Medicare terms?
Longevity Alliance is the place to start if you are turning 65 and Medicare is on the horizon. For many people it is the first time they have had to shop for health insurance outside of their employer’s limited choices. It can be confusing – even overwhelming.
Longevity Alliance Medicare Health Plan Advisors specialize in helping people turning 65 and new to Medicare. Our 3-step process: Educate & Inform, Advise, and Enroll helps make sure you know your choices in selecting a Medicare plan. Your Medicare Health Plan Advisor will explain how Medicare works and how different plans work with Medicare – Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D plans. They will advise you on which plan or plans meet your needs and help you enroll in the one you select. And if we don’t represent that insurance company, we’ll tell you how to reach them to enroll!
Our goal is to help you find the right Medicare plan. There is no cost or obligation for our service. We’ve helped thousands of people shopping for Medicare plans.
If you are new to Medicare – whether you are turning 65 or just leaving an employer health plan – contact Longevity Alliance today for no cost, no obligation advice and Medicare plan quotes. Call 1-800-352-9742.