Medicare consists of two parts: Part A covers costs associated with the hospital and Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, home health and many preventive services like screenings, shots and vaccines.
For most people, Medicare begins when a person turns 65. If you happen to be drawing Social Security, you’ll be enrolled automatically. If not, you’ll want to enroll at Medicare.gov or your local Social Security Office.
If you’re over 65, still working and have group health insurance, you might want to delay the beginning of your Medicare Coverage. Original Medicare covers most, but not all of the costs for approved health care services and supplies. After you meet your deductible, you pay your share of costs for services and supplies as you get them. There’s no limit on what you’ll pay out-of-pocket in a year unless you have other coverage (like Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicaid, or employee or union coverage).
Enrolling in Medicare
Several factors are important in making the decision to enroll in Medicare. These include whether you are drawing social security, have insurance through work or are disabled. If you’ve worked in the United States for at least 10 years, you usually get Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it. If
you don’t sign up for Part B within 3 months of turning 65, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty. We can help you decide if enrolling in Medicare now makes sense based on your situation.
Types of Medicare policies
There are many different options within Medicare. One of the biggest choices that beneficiaries will need to make is whether to enroll in Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage. While these two options are similar, there are a few key differences worth noting.
Original Medicare coverage is the same for everybody that’s enrolled in it. Beneficiaries do not have the ability to alter their coverage while enrolled in this policy option. Original Medicare consists of Parts A and B and provides a basis for coverage. However, there are some areas of coverage that are not included within Original Medicare. If you’re wanting to have more coverage options, consider Medicare Advantage.
Medicare Advantage is the alternative to Original Medicare and does allow for some degree of flexibility. Beneficiaries can add areas of coverage to their policies that wouldn’t otherwise be available through Medicare Advantage. While there are definitely some pros when it comes to choosing Medicare Advantage, you won't be able to purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance policy too. Keeping all of the different factors in mind is essential when it comes to insurance decisions.
If you are interested in prescription drug coverage, then you should also consider Medicare Part D. This part of Medicare can be included as an added benefit with a Medicare Advantage plan, or bought as a standalone plan with Original Medicare.
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Medicare Supplement Insurance ('Medigap')
Medigap is supplemental insurance issued by private insurance companies approved by Medicare, and is intended to lower Medicare bills. It doesn’t provide access to any additional healthcare services, but will reduce the amount beneficiaires owe when it comes to their out-of-pocket Medicare expenses. There are ten different Medigap plan types sold through independent insurance agencies. Each plan has been designated a letter and will offer its own unique coverage.
Picking the right Medicare policy
Enrolling in Medicare is incredibly important and can be one of the most beneficial decisions individuals make during retirement. Make sure to research and find which policy option is best for you.
If you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed at the prospect of making the right policy decision, reach out to a licensed insurance agent today. Our team is here to assist and can offer guidance to help benefit you in retirement. You don’t have to make these decisions on your own, so let us know how we can help!
Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. Insurance products are offered through the insurance business Heritage First. Heritage First is also an Investment Advisory practice that offers products and services through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM), a Registered Investment Adviser. The AEWM does not offer insurance products. The insurance products offered by Heritage First are not subject to Investment Advisor requirements. AEWM and Heritage First are not affiliated companies.
Any and all other services related to Medicare are an outside business activity and are not offered through or supervised by AE Wealth Management, LLC.