Understanding Medicare can be a daunting task. Not only are there many Medicare options, but Medicare jargon can be confusing. There is Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Drug Plans. Below is important information for people who want to know more about Medicare.
Medicare is not free.
Original Medicare is divided into two parts: Medicare Part A, which pays for hospital services, and Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient services, lab work, and doctor visits. There is no Part A premium if your spouse or you have paid into Medicare for ten years or more. For 2020 the Part B monthly premium is $144.60. The Part D drug plan premium will vary depending on the plan you choose.
The Basics of Medicare
People with higher incomes will pay more.
A single person making more than $87,000 or a couple making more than $174,000 will pay higher Medicare Part B and Part D premiums.
Please note that Medicare will use your tax return from two years prior.
Medicare Part A & B Premiums and Deductibles for 2020
When can you sign up?
If you are collecting Railroad Retirement or Social Security Benefits before you turn 65 you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare and your Medicare card will be mailed to you.
If you are not collecting either Railroad or Social Security you will not be automatically enrolled and you will need to enroll yourself.
Enrolling in Medicare When You Turn 65
If you are still working or covered under your spouse’s insurance and the coverage is creditable you can delay your enrollment without a penalty.
Please note that if you or your spouse’s employer employs fewer than 20 people, you will need to enroll in Medicare.
Enrolling in Medicare After Turning 65
Medicare doesn’t cover everything.
I jokingly tell my clients that if it is in your head (eyes, ears, or teeth) Medicare will not cover it. In most cases, Medicare will not cover long-term or custodial care.
What’s Not Covered by Medicare
Fill in the gaps.
In addition to premium cost, there are co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles that you or your plan will be responsible for. One of the ways to cover the gaps is with a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap). People who became eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, can select from ten different plans. People who turn 65 after January 1, 2020, can select from eight different Medicare Supplement plans.
Medicare Supplement plans are identified by a letter, and all plans with the same letter must offer the same set of benefits. However, the monthly premium between companies offering the plans can vary greatly. As an example, here in Grand Junction a 65-year-old female wanting to purchase Medicare Supplement Plan G would pay anywhere between $96.63 to $188.37 per month depending on the company she chose for the identical coverage.
Nine Things to Know About Medicare Supplement
You have choices.
To cover the gaps in Original Medicare you can sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan along with a Medicare Part D drug plan or you can choose to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage
Your questions and concerns are my business and I am here to help.
I help seniors confused by their Medicare options by explaining Medicare in plain English, saving them time and money.
Whether you are new to Medicare or you currently have a Medicare plan and want to know if you are paying too much, I am here to help.
I specialize in Medicare products for seniors and represent all Medicare Supplement Plan types.
Medicare explained in plain English