Medicare is health insurance offered by the Federal government to people who are 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of any age with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) – permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant) , who meet the eligibility requirements. Medicare helps pay for health care, but does not cover all medical expenses. The United States Medicare system is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Read these articles to determine your eligibility.
Medicare has four parts:
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) is the original Medicare coverage which helps pay for inpatient hospital care, and helps cover skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) is for people who qualify for Medicare. It helps cover doctors’ services, outpatient care, and home health care, and helps cover some preventative services to maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse. Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage Plans (like HMOs and PPOs), offer health coverage options run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare. It includes Part A, Part B, and usually other coverage like prescription drugs. Medicare Part D is the newest addition to Medicare. It is a prescription drug option run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare, that helps cover the cost of prescription drugs and may help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. You must be enrolled in Medicare before you can apply for Part D coverage.
Medicare pays for a large number of health care needs, be they supplies or services. Medicare does not, however, pay for everything. Medicare recipients may want to consider buying supplemental health insurance such as a Medigap plan. This type of plan will pick up where Medicare leaves off. Medigap plans vary. The appropriate one for you depends on your needs and the Medicare plan you have. Compare your Medicare plan, which may be original Medicare or a Medicare replacement plan, such as an HMO or PPO. Then pick a Medigap plan (sometimes called a supplemental plan) which will fill the gaps and meet your needs. If you have a Medicare replacement plan (sometimes called a Medicare Advantage plan) you cannot use a Medigap plan. Compare the costs for all, or give us a call at The Benefit Link and we will supply all of the information you need. Then you will just need to decide on the plan that is right for you. For additional information, please visit:https://www.medicare.com/medigap-insurance/easy-guide-to-choosing-a-medigap-policy.html
Once you have decided on the standardized plan you want, you will then need to find a company that sells the correct Medigap plans in your state. There are numerous companies. Feel free to spend time searching online or over the phone, but we can save you all of the trouble with one simple phone call with one of our knowledgeable licensed agents. Once you have decided on the company you would like to go with, there will be an application process and a telephone interview with the company you have chosen. This process can also be arranged by our specialists in order to run as smooth as possible and provide you, our client, with piece of mind. For additional information, please visit:https://www.medicare.com/medigap-insurance/easy-guide-to-choosing-a-medigap-policy.html
- Before calling the insurance companies ensure that you are within the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, or the Annual Election Period. When you start calling, you should also have some specific questions in mind and take notes on the answers:
- Is the company licensed in your state?
- Do they sell the specific plan you want? Not all companies sell every plan, so be sure they have the appropriate plan.
- Do they use underwriting for the Medigap plan you want? After your six month open enrollment, companies offering Medigap plans may use medical underwriting. The term “medical underwriting” refers to an insurance company taking considering various factors (pre-existing conditions, age etc.) to determine if you are eligible for a plan and what premiums you are charged for that plan. Rules for how this works regarding Medigap plans vary.
- Do they have a waiting period for pre-existing conditions? If so, is this acceptable for your medical needs?
- How is the plan you want priced? Is it affected by age, community, or attained age ratings? Issue-age rating refers to a plan price based on your age when you join. Community-age rated refers to a plan where the average age of those in the plan is used to determine the premium. Attained-age refers to plans that increase as you age. These often start low but can eventually become higher than other plans.
- What is the plan premium at your age? How often does the plan increase as you age?
- Has the premium for the plan increased over the past three years for inflation or any other reason? If so, by how much?
- Does the company offer any discounts or additional benefits (innovative benefits)?
- Is there any charge to process claims automatically?
As a Medicare supplement member, you are free to go to any doctor or hospital you choose for care. Your coverage will be recognized across the country.
- Part D Plans Enrollment Center
- What You Should Consider During Open Enrollment
- Changing Parts D Plans Might Lower Your Drug Costs
- Know Your Situation Before You Enroll
- What is the Donut Hole?
- When to Enroll for Part D Coverage
- Who Qualifies For Medicare Part D Coverage/a>
- How To Spends Less On CoPays, prescription drug coverage
- Medigap Policies and Prescription Drug Coverage