New To Medicare? Seven Tips guaranteed to make it easier... - BluegrassMedicare
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New To Medicare? Seven Tips guaranteed to make it easier…

New To Medicare? Seven Tips guaranteed to make it easier…

Medicare is a typical big government program –  which explains why it is so complicated.  It is also something that most people don’t understand.  The typical senior wales up one day to the realizatio0n that they need to enroll, and have no idea how to navigate all the rules, penalties and programs.

This leaves folks gasping for information anywhere they can get it, often asking their neighbor, calling 1-800-Joe-Namath, or reluctantly trusting the “advice” of a phone solicitor.  You can alleviate some of this angst if you know some of the basics.

     1) The most common time people enroll in Medicare is when they turn 65, but this is not the only time.

   2) Fully enrolling in Medicare will require several policies to cover three primary coverage issues: (1) Original Medicare (2) Prescription Drugs (3) The Gap.  Original Medicare is known as the red, white and blue card.  Prescription drug plans are known as Part D.  There is also the Gap, which is the part that Original Medicare does not pay.

     3) Original Medicare, has two separate policies: Part A which covers some of your hospital bills, and Part B which covers some of your other medical bills.  Original Medicare does not cover other services like prescriptions, dental, vision and hearing.

     4) Enrollment in Original Medicare can be tricky depending on your situation.  IT can be automatic if you are on social security; if not, you will automatically be enrolled in Part A only.  Whether you need to enroll in Part B depends on several factors, namely your employers health plan.  A word of caution: if you make a mistake here it can lead to unwanted penalties and delays in benefits.

     5) There are two ways, or paths, to address the bills that Original Medicare does not pay.  The first is with the supplement (Medicap) policy. and the second is with an Advantage Plan (Part C).

     6) When you are new to Medicare and at least 65 year-old, you get to choose which path you want – no questions asked.  After that your options may be limited.  It is very important that you choose wisely.  Many factors go into the decision like your health, budget, and lifestyle.  The policy your neighbor has mat not be right for you.

     7) You will need a prescription drug plan.  Part D, as it is known, is required so don’t try to skip it even if you are not taking any drugs.  You or your advisor will need to do a through analysis of your current medications to determine which plan is the most cost effective.  If you choose the supplement path, you will need a separate Part D policy.  There are usually around 25 plans available to you, depending on the county you live in.  If you choose the Advantage plan path. the drug plan is included.  So it is very important to do an analysis to determine which Advantage plan works best for you.

You have seven months to enroll in Original Medicare, three months before your birth month, your birth month and three months after.  If you are enrolling when you turn 65, I strongly recommend you make sure you are enrolled in Original Medicare at least 2 months before your birth month.  This will give you plenty of time to purchase the other policies that you need.

It is very important that you have all of your policies and member cards in hand before the effective date of your Original Medicare.  You will not want to go a single day without full Medicare coverage.

Medicare is complicated and everyone’s situation is different, so please don’t hesitate to seek the help if a profe4ssional./  Please send any questions to tompotts@bluegrassmedicare.com

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