With many years of experience working with pre-retirees and retirees, Family Tree Financial Group can help you understand and assess your Medicare benefit options. Help is also available for enrollment guidance and assistance.
There are four parts to Medicare, listed below.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Prescription Drug Plans
Oct. 15th - Dec. 7th
During Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) – Oct 15th through December 7th – it is important to check to see what may have changed in your coverage and how it will affect your health coverage and benefits for the upcoming year. This should be done each and every year to make sure you’re still in the right (best) plan. At Family Tree Financial Group, we can generate side by side comparisons to make sure you are getting the most out of your plan.
For most beneficiaries, Medigap OEP lasts from the first day of the month they turn 65 or older and enroll in Part B, lasting six months.
Part A and Part B
Medicare Part A & B plans are known together as Traditional Medicare or Original Medicare. While Part A is typically offered premium free, Part B involves a monthly premium. Not enrolling in Part B when first eligible may incur a late-enrollment penalty.
Part C (Medicare Advantage)
Medicare Advantage plans provide benefits through a private insurer and are designed to replace Medicare Parts A and B. There are various types of Medicare Advantage Plans, which, in addition to providing the hospital and doctor benefits of Parts A and B, may offer additional benefits.
Part D (Prescription Plans)
Medicare’s Prescription Drug Plans are available for an additional monthly premium through companies that contract with Medicare. If you have Medicare Parts A and B, you can purchase Part D. Alternatively, you can purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan with a prescription drug benefit under Part C of Medicare. Part D is designed to pay some, but not all, of your prescription drug costs.
People enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B find that, even though a lot of their medical care is covered, they can still face considerable out-of-pocket costs. To address the costs not covered by Medicare, many people elect to purchase a Medicare supplement plan (called a Medigap) from a private insurer to fill in many of the gaps in Medicare Part A and B coverage.
Medicare Supplements may also have additional coverage for things that aren’t included with Medicare, such as foreign travel care. Medigaps can be a great solution to enhancing your overall healthcare protection in retirement.
However, Medigaps—while sold through private companies—are heavily regulated and subject to many of the complex rules that govern traditional Medicare. For example, Medicare Supplement policies use enrollment rules that can make obtaining or switching a policy outside the Medigap Open Enrollment Period very hard. During the Medicare Initial Enrollment period—which begins three months before the month you turn age 65 and are enrolled in Part B coverage—you are generally not subject to medical underwriting. Outside of this period, insurance companies can use underwriting to determine eligibility and cost.
This means that you might have only one shot at getting your Medicare Supplement coverage right.