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Frequently Asked Questions about Medicare

That’s easy. You can go online to http://www.Medicare.gov and snoop around. You can plough through the thick Medicare and You that you will get in the mail after you get your Medicare card or – the fastest, easiest and most efficient way is to contact me and I will sit down with you and explain what Medicare is, how it works, what it covers, what it doesn’t cover and what your options are. In less than half an hour, you will learn everything you need to know about Medicare and have all your questions answered in a no-cost, no-obligation personal meeting.

If you are already drawing early Social Security, you will receive your red,white and blue Medicare card in the mail automatically a 3-4 months before your 65th birthday. If not, you can either telephone Social Security (who enrolls you in Medicare) at 800-772-1213 for enrollment assistance or you can enroll online if you are at least 64 and 8 months at www.SocialSecurity.gov or at www.Medicare.gov. Applying online takes 10 minutes or less and you will receive your Medicare card in the mail within days. You can also apply for Social Security benefits at the same website.

Not even close. Medicare Part A will help pay for in-patient hospital expenses and rehabilitation costs, but there are deductibles and co-pays that you will be subject to. Medicare Part B will cover a percentage of other medical costs, such as doctors’ office visit, outpatient surgery, exams, blood work, x-rays, etc., but there is still a deductible and co-pays. What Medicare covers and doesn’t cover is very confusing and the Part D prescription drug program is twice as confusing. (See below.)

Medicare doesn’t cover prescriptions that are not administered in a hospital or doctors’ office, which is where Medicare Part D (think for drugs) comes in. Medicare Advantage plans, which substitute for Medicare, can include Part D coverage or you can enroll in a Part D plan, along with Medicare. Part D is even more confusing than Medicare. Be sure you consult with an expert to understand the many different plans available and how they work. One complementary service that I provide is to find the best plan – one that covers the most drugs that a client takes at the least cost – at no cost or obligation. Plus I review your plan for you annually to insure that you have the one that will be appropriate for you in the upcoming year as most plans change every year.

The major difference is that Medicare and a Supplement, you can see any medical provider or facility anywhere in the country as long as Medicare is accepted. With an Advantage Plan, usually an HMO or PPO, the medical provider or facility has to be in the plan network to be covered and the plans are geographically restricted.

Another way of putting it is: With a Medicare Supplement you and your doctor manage your healthcare, but with an Advantage Plan it is you, your doctor and the insurance company that is managing your healthcare. 

No. Effective in 2019, one can make a one-time change to Advantage Plans or disenroll from the plan and go back to Original Medicare from January 1 to March 31. You cannot change Part D prescription plans then, though.

Medicare Supplement plans can be changed anytime from one supplement to another or from one company to another. However, if you are outside of your initial enrollment period, you may have to answer medical questions to qualify.

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