As you near retirement age, the Medicare questions start rising to the top of your priority list. What is it? How does it work? What do I need?
As the questions abound, the need for information – the right and easily digestible information – becomes even more important. Aside from first-timers exploring Medicare options, you can also switch plans every year during open enrollment. In both scenarios, it’s important that you know about the new plans carriers are releasing, changes that may happen with your current plan, and whether you can get more and better coverage and pay less with a different plan.
What Is It? Understanding Medicare
Under federal law, once an individual turns 65, he or she must apply for Medicare. The federal health insurance program is designed to help people like you get access to quality and affordable health coverage.
Medicare is separated into “parts,” with each part covering a different aspect of medical care, such as hospital stays, doctor’s visits and prescription drug coverage. You can purchase Original Medicare, which is a federal program, or you can purchase “parts” provided by the private sector.
Medicare Parts: How It Works
Medicare is divided into four “parts”:
- Part A: Hospital, skilled nursing care, hospice and home health care.
- Part B: Medically necessary doctors’ visits, outpatient surgery, clinical lab tests, physical therapy, home health care and medical equipment.
- Part C: Medicare Advantage plans. Coverage provided by private health insurance companies.
- Part D: Outpatient prescription drug coverage provided by private health insurance companies.
Create A Plan That’s Right For You
You can put a Medicare plan together a few different ways:
Create customized coverage using the Original Medicare plans:
- Part A: Hospital insurance
- Part B: Medical insurance
- Part D: Prescription drug coverage (optional)
- Medicare Supplement Insurance: Optional coverage that fills in Original Medicare coverage gaps.
Choose a Medicare Part C plan (provided by a private entity), which includes:
- Part A (hospital insurance)
- Part B (medical insurance)
- And sometimes Part D (prescription drug coverage)
If you’re enrolling for the first time, contact our Medicare Specialists, who will walk you through every step of the process.
Need to switch plans? We can help with that too. Talk to one of our Medicare Re-enrollment Specialists now.