Medicare Supplements

Medicare is a health insurance program regulated by the Federal government that is made up of four parts.  Most people can begin this process 3 months before their 65th birthday.

The first step is to call Social Security and ask to enroll in your Part A and Part B.  Now if you have employer sponsored coverage, then please contact us as you do not necessarily need to enroll in Part B until you are ready to leave your group benefits.  Once you have your id card and letter with your Part A/B effective date, you are ready to enroll in a Medicare Supplement.

Let’s choose the right plan for you as you have the first 6 months from your Medicare effective date and after that any increase in benefit changes must go through underwriting unless there is a birthday rule option.  The next step is to enroll in your Part D (drug coverage).  Part D has an open enrollment period each year so you may make a plan and/or benefit change for the upcoming calendar year.

A good thing to do is to give your current list of prescription drugs to your agent and they can review what might be the best choice for you based on the list of drugs provided.

Medicare Part A Coverage

Most people do not pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A coverage because they or a spouse has 40 or more quarters of Medicare covered employment. If you do not, you may have to pay for this coverage. Part A covers various forms of hospital stays. Its focus is inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and some home health care.

Medicare Part B Coverage

Part B coverage includes Medicare eligible physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services and durable medical equipment. There is a premium that most Medicare recipients are required to pay in order to utilize the coverage and that premium typically goes up incrementally each year.

Medicare Part C Coverage (Medicare Advantage)

The Medicare Advantage Plan, or Medicare Part C combines both Part A and Part B. Part C differs from the other plans, though, because it is optional and supplied through private insurance companies. These companies have been approved by Medicare and they often offer additional benefits and lower costs.

Medicare Part D Coverage

Part D is prescription drug coverage. It is a stand alone insurance plan and covers all drugs that are medically necessary. There are three basic plan types. Within this framework, each carriers plan options may have their own differences and cover different medications. Coverage for this plan does, for most people, require that a premium is paid. One plus, is that each November 15th – December 31st, a Part D member can change their plan up, down or to a different carrier with no penalty or qualifying. Keep in mind here you are choosing the plan for the year ahead when making your decisions.

Medicare Supplements

Medicare supplement plans come in 10 standardized plans of which insurance companies may offer any combination of plans. Since they are standardized, you are really choosing based on carrier and premium. Supplement plans are meant to fill in the gaps of what is not covered under Part A and Part B of Medicare depending on which supplement plan you choose. You will find Medicare and the plan options which supplement Medicare to be a very easy system to navigate once you have an understanding of your options. Do keep in mind that once you enroll in your Part B, you will have six months to enroll in a Medicare supplement under guaranteed issue. If you would like assistance, we are here to help. Please feel free to call us at 805-898-2770.