Although navigating the ins-and-outs of Medicare can be confusing, I hope my last email Medicare 101: Eligibility, helped you understand what to expect as you approach your 65th birthday. After you receive your “Welcome to Medicare” packet in the mail (and your 65th birthday festivities have come to an end!) it’s time to take the next steps toward securing well-rounded and worry-free health insurance coverage.
The ABD’s of Medicare
We’ve generally covered Part A, but there are a few more things you need to know about Medicare after age 65.
1. Medicare Part A: Remember, for most people, Medicare Part A is automatic. The government will automatically enroll you when you turn 65.
Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover:
• Inpatient care in hospitals
• Skilled nursing facility care
• Hospice care
• Home health care
2. Medicare Part B: Most people enroll in Medicare Part B, unless you continue to be covered under an employer health plan.
Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover:
• Services from doctors and other health care providers
• Outpatient care
• Home health care
• Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other equipment and supplies).
• Many preventive services )like screenings, shots, and yearly wellness visits.
Part B requires a monthly premium usually deducted from your monthly Social Security benefit. It’s quickest and easiest to apply in person at your local social security administration office, but you can also apply by mail or phone.
3. Medicare Part C: Once you have enrolled in Medicare Parts A&B, you may wish to consider Medicare Part C or “Medicare Advantage”.
Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans), take over or replace Medicare Parts A&B and provide benefits at least as good as Medicare Parts A&B. Medicare Advantage plans are offered in most areas of the United States, and many plans offer extra benefits not covered by traditional Medicare. Many of these plans also cover prescription drugs as part of their plan.
4. Medicare Part D: Medicare Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug coverage and is an optional benefit offered to everyone who has Medicare. It’s important to compare drug coverage with any current prescription plan you may have.
While this all sounds great, I do have a warning for you. At first glance, Medicare benefits may appear comprehensive — providing everything you need to cover and control healthcare costs during this season of life. However, there are gaps in coverage you need to be aware of. Failing to cover these gaps could put you and your family in an uncomfortable financial situation.
I’ll be back in touch soon with more information on how you can address these gaps and achieve true peace of mind so that high healthcare costs will not be a part of your golden years.
Health Insurance Broker
707-540-0211 (office landline)