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Basic Medicare Information

          Medicare has 4 parts to it -

          Part A - Covers Hospital Expenses

 

          Part B - Covers Outpatient Medical Expenses

 

          Part C - Medicare Advantage Plans (plans offered through private    

                         insurance  companies that are funded by Medicare)

 

          Part D - Prescription Coverage

 


When you turn age 65 you will automatically be enrolled into Part A. You have paid into this your whole working life so the cost for Part A is $0. With Medicare Part B most people will need to pay a premium of $121.80 (2017 rates) per month. Some people with high incomes may need to pay more. You may delay taking Part B if you are still working and covered under your employer plan. There are circumstances under which even though you are still working you will need to take Part B. (be sure to check with your company)

 

 

HOW DO I GET MY MEDICARE ID CARD?

 

You may get your Medicare card 2 ways - Social Security may just mail you your ID card up to 3 months before you turn age 65. If this does not happen you will need to contact Social Security and sign up for Part B. The number to contact Social Security is - 1-800-772-1213. You can enroll right over the phone.

                  

 

HOW DO I PAY MY PART B PREMIUM?

 

Medicare will take the premium right out of your Social Security check if you are getting it. If you have not applied for Social Security, than they will bill you direct by mail.

 

Medicare Parts A and B do not cover all your medical costs - there are deductibles and coinsurance you would be responsible for. This is where a Medicare Supplement comes in. The Supplement will pay whatever Medicare does not pay. The cost of Medicare Supplements will vary by company but in general it will cost you about $150 per month.

 

 

REMEMBER - Medicare Parts A and B DO NOT COVER PRESCRIPTIONS. So to cover prescriptions you will need to purchase a Part D drug card offered through private insurance companies partially funded by Medicare. The cost range on a Part D drug card is $15 to $100 per month.

 

 

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS


More and more people are turning to Medicare Advantage Plans because they are low in cost - many plans HAVE NO PREMIUM AT ALL - and they usually cover BOTH your medical and prescription expenses. It is important for you to look at both options before you make a decision.


Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance companies. They provide coverage for Medical, Part D Prescriptions, Wellness, some plans include Dental and Vision all under one plan. When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan you are removed from the traditional Medicare system. In turn Medicare pays a set premium for you to the Medicare Advantage Plan you have chosen. This is why these plans usually do not charge you a premium or if they do it is very small.


IMPORTANT - All Medicare Advantage Plans have to cover the same services that Medicare covers. Some plans offer more coverage such as better wellness care, dental and vision.


Medicare Advantage Plans are becoming more and more popular every year. Currently 40% of Ohio Seniors are covered under a Medicare Advantage Plan.


DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT AND A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN


With a Medicare Advantage Plan, you pay copayments for the services you use. For example - Office Visit could cost you $10, or an MRI could cost you $150. The insurance company will pay the balance after your copayment. Premiums are low usually $0 per month. Plans INCLUDE the Part D prescription coverage. Extra benefits are usually included for dental and vision.  With these plans you want to be sure your Doctors and Hospitals are covered.


Under a Medicare Supplement you would usually have 100% coverage between Medicare and the Supplement. No copayments. Medicare Supplements charge premiums starting around $150 per month for a popular Plan F. You also will need to purchase a Part D Prescription plan in addition to the supplement. Part D monthly premiums average about $45 per month. You can go to any Doctor or Hospital that accepts Medicare.


2017 OPEN ENROLLMENT - ANNUAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD STARTS 10/15/16 AND ENDS 12/7/16.  During this time you will be able to enroll into or change Medicare Advantage plans as well as Part D Prescription cards. If you are new to Medicare or in a Special Enrollment Period you will be to enroll into a Medicare Advantage plan outside of the Annual Enrollment Period.


Contact your agent to advise you as to which plan options would be best for you.









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