Going on Medicare Part 1 – Understanding Medicare Parts vs. Medigap Plans

**This is Part 1 of a 5-part series intended to explain various aspects of Medicare and Medigap policies to someone turning 65 or about to go on here.**You will, no doubt, be inundated with information by mail, phone and email regarding your upcoming transition to Medicare. This article explains the differences in “parts” and “plans”, which is a commonly confused difference that can lead to tremendous misunderstandings and mistakes when looking at plan options.

Part 1 – Parts vs. Plans – Lots of Letters and

Medicare Part B is the part of Medicare that covers doctor’s office and outpatient services (like labwork, etc.). You must sign up for Part B in order to have this part of Medicare. There is a $104.90/month premium for this that is generally paid through a Social Security deduction.

Medicare Part C is an optional part of Medicare that is also known as Medicare Advantage. If you wish to stay with cbd oil capsules Medicare, you do NOT need to sign up for Part C. In fact, if you sign up for ‘C’, all of your coverage is provided through the private Part C company and Parts A & B no longer provide your benefits.

Parts of Medicare

There are four parts of Medicare. Medicare Part A is the part that covers hospital and inpatient services. You get this automatically from paying into the Medicare system during your working life.

Medicare Part D is the prescription drugs part of Medicare. This part of Medicare is also optional and provided through private companies. More and more seniors that live in states where marijuana is legal and have cancer are passing on Medicare Part D in favor of a medical marijuana card. They purchase ice bong molds and other items, in order to have prescription drug coverage, specially green certified services, you must sign up for Part D. You can do this by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or through an independent agent.

Plans – Medigap

Medigap plans are also named by letters, which is the source of most people’s confusion. The plans are standardized and each company is required to offer the plans from the standardized plans chart. This chart goes from “A” to “N”. You should select a plan that meets your needs from a reputable company with low rates. You can view the full chart here that shows what the standardized plans cover: Standardized Plans Chart

If you have any specific questions, or if we can help in any way, please do not hesitate to reply to this email or contact us toll-free at 877.506.3378. We are a leading, independent Medicare Insurance agency. Because we are an independent agency, we work as a centralized place to compare all plan options, ask questions, and make unbiased decisions.

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If you prefer to speak with someone by phone, please call me directly using the information below:

J. Garrett Ball, President
Secure Medicare Solutions, Inc.
Toll-Free: 877.506.3378

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment – When Is It and How Does It Work

Medicare Supplement open enrollment is the name given to the time when you are BOTH 65 or older AND enrolled in Medicare Part B. This time period, which begins on the first day of the month that you meet these criteria (65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B), lasts for 6 months.

During this time period, insurance companies cannot use medical underwriting. This just means that they cannot make you pay more for pre-existing conditions, deny your coverage, or restrict the coverage based on your health. Because this is the case, it is essential that if you are going on Medicare, you sign up for a plan during this time period.

At a later time period, the insurance companies use medical underwriting to determine your eligibility for coverage. This can cause you to be denied coverage or made to pay more because of your health. The individual companies set their own unique underwriting guidelines. These can vary by state and according to state-specific restrictions and variations.

The only way to avoid this uncertainty, altogether, is to sign up during this open enrollment period, when you are first eligible for Medicare.

One consideration that may affect when you sign up is if you plan to work past the age of 65. There are other enrollment rights, called “guaranteed issue” rights, which would allow you to sign up for a Medigap plan later when you retire, if you have been covered by employer insurance.

However, you may want to also consider delaying enrollment in Medicare Part B, if you plan to work past the age of 65. Since both conditions must be met in order to trigger your open enrollment period, being 65 or older AND having Part B, your open enrollment period can also be delayed until the time of your retirement. You should discuss this with your benefits person at your current employer or insurance plan, so that you can understand the implications of how their plan will work with Medicare Part A only. If their coverage is primary to Medicare, delaying Medicare Part B is likely the most advantageous choice.

During open enrollment, you can easily compare Medicare supplement plans, get Medigap quotes from an independent brokerage and make a sound decision on the plan that makes the most sense for you. When you apply, you will not be made to disclose anything about your health, answer medical questions, or take any sort of physical examination to obtain coverage. You simply fill out some general personal information, sign the application to apply, and wait for your card and policy to come in the mail.

On a regular basis, we deal with cases where someone has waited to buy a Medigap plan until after their open enrollment period is up. In many cases, waiting can cause someone to be “stuck” in a situation where they cannot get a plan, or atleast not get the plan they want.

This makes getting a plan during your open enrollment period, no matter what company or broker you get it from, of utmost importance. If we can assist in comparing the plan options, we are happy to do so. We can send quote information by email. To get this information, visit Medicare-Supplement.US or call us at 877.506.3378.

Going on Medicare – What You Need to Do

Going on Medicare, or turning 65, is one of the largest insurance-related transitions one can have in their life. There is a lot to consider and certainly a lot of information out there about Medicare insurance plans. If you’re like most people, you’ll be inundated with paperwork and solicitations leading up to your 65th birthday – everyone wants to be your friend when you are turning 65!

Here are the five most important things to know when you turning 65 that will make that transition an easy one:

  1. First of all, in most cases, you’ll be enrolled automatically in Medicare A & B. Typically, Medicare sends you a red, white, and blue Medicare card 2-3 months before your 65th birthday. Medicare is always active on the first day of the month you turn 65 (unless your birthday is the 1st day of a month, in which case Medicare starts the 1st day of the preceding month).
  2. Medicare A & B provide good coverage, but there are some “gaps” in Medicare, which is why the majority of people have some other type of coverage – i.e. Medicare Supplements or Medicare Advantage. The “gaps” in Medicare are a couple of Medicare deductibles (Part A deductible = $1,132 and Part B deductible = $162), as well as an unlimited 20% that you are responsible for if you have only Medicare.
  3. There are two types of Medicare insurance plans and they work very differently. It is important to understand the differences. Medicare Supplement plans work with Medicare and pay AFTER Medicare pays. Medicare Advantage plans replace Medicare and pay INSTEAD of Medicare. Coverage varies greatly with these plans.
  4. Medicare Supplement plans are standardized – that is, each company is required to offer the same standard plans, so comparing them is easy to do and is a function of price and company rating. Medicare Advantage plans have a system of co-pays and deductibles that can vary considerably from one company to another. These plans are more difficult to compare because of this, as well as the added factor of having networks (Medicare Supplement plans can be used at anywhere nationwide).
  5. No matter who it is, it is to your advantage (and at no cost to you) to use a Medicare insurance broker, who can explain both types of plans and help you compare the options in an unbiased, centralized place.

To get more information about turning 65 or going on Medicare, you can view Medicare Supplement Insurance. To get quotes and comparisons for Medicare plans in your area, go to Medicare-Supplement.US.

Medicare Part B – Deciding When to Take It or Delay It

Medicare Part B is the 2nd part of “original” Medicare. It goes along with Medicare Part A to make up the primary part of Medicare that most people age 65 and over, or disabled, have. Part B is optional, and you can delay getting Part B if you have other insurance that will continue to cover you, such as employer-sponsored insurance. The biggest thing is simply deciding when to take Medicare Part B and when to delay it.

The most common reason for delaying enrollment in Medicare Part B is because you or your spouse are still working and are covered under some type of employer-sponsored insurance. This is a perfectly legitimate reason to delay Part B, and in most cases, this is the wise choice when you plan to stay on the employer group plan.

Normally, there is a penalty for delaying Part B (if you end up signing up for it later). However, with the case of having coverage through an employer, you are exempt from this penalty. You must prove to Medicare, or typically your HR person at your place of employment will do this, that you have current coverage and that is the reason you did not sign up for Part B when first eligible. Medicare will waive the Part B late enrollment penalty.

Another major ramification that plays a part in the thinking on this topic is that Part B enrollment initiates your Medicare Supplement open enrollment period. In other words, when you sign up for Medicare Part B (whenever that is), your Medigap open enrollment period starts.

So, because there is no penalty, if you are still working and plan to stay on the employer coverage, it is advantageous NOT to sign up for Part B until you retire or leave the employer coverage. This will ensure you don’t burn up your open enrollment period without actually using it to sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan.

When you do decide to sign up for Medicare Part B, you can do so under two circumstances:

  1. Anytime you are still covered by the employer plan through you or your spouse’s active employment.
  2. During the 8 months following the month the employer plan ends or the employment ends (whichever is first).

Medicare Part B is an important part of your Medicare coverage. The important thing for you is deciding when you should enroll in it or delay enrollment until you leave your employer coverage. If you have more questions about this, you can contact us on our website at Medicare Supplement quotes.