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Medicare FAQs

When to enroll in Medicare

Your first chance to sign up for Medicare is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). It happens around your 65th birthday and lasts a total of 7 months. It includes your birthday month plus the 3 months before and the 3 months after. It’s best to sign up early to avoid gaps in coverage and late enrollment penalties.

You must be 65 to enroll in Medicare—your spouse’s age doesn’t count.

You may enroll in Medicare even if you’re not collecting Social Security yet.

You may enroll in Medicare even if you work past age 65 and have employer coverage, or if you are 65 and have coverage through your spouse’s employer.

Medicare FAQs

1. When can I sign up for Medicare?
You can sign up for Medicare anytime, starting three months before your birthday, the month of your birthday and up to three months after your birthday, with NO Medicare penalty.

2. What’s the difference between Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D?
Part A is your hospitalization coverage, Part B is your doctor coverage, Part C is Advantage Plans and Part D is your Prescription Drug coverage.

3. What’s the difference between Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Supplemental/MediGap Plans?
There are two options commonly used to replace or supplement Original Medicare. One option, called Medicare Advantage plans, is an alternative way to get Original Medicare. The other option is Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) insurance plans which work alongside your Original Medicare coverage. These plans have significant differences when it comes to costs, benefits, and how they work. It’s important to understand these differences as you review your Medicare coverage options.

4. Do I need to sign up for Prescription Drug coverage?
Yes, Medicare requires you to sign up for Prescription Drug coverage even if you do not take any medications or you will receive a penalty later when you do sign up for Prescription Drug coverage.

5. Will my doctor accept my Medicare coverage?
Each plan is different. There are many, many Medicare plans out there. It is critical that you thoroughly research every plan to see if all of your doctors accept them. It is also critical to make sure a plan works with all of your prescription drugs, before selection.

6. Will my pharmacy accept my my Medicare Prescription Drug coverage?
This is very important. Most people do not want to switch the pharmacy that they currently use. Just asking your pharmacist is not always to best way. You need to thoroughly research to make sure your pharmacy works with your plan selection.

7. How do I know which plan is best for me, my budget and my current needs?
Another excellent question. There are so many insurance companies out there offering plans in your area. How do you pick the best plan for you? You need to consider which plans your doctors accept and where you need to go to fill your prescriptions, but what is your budget and my current health care needs. So many of the low cost plans out there “nickle and dime you” and that is not always easy to detect when searching for Medicare plans.

8. How much does Medicare cost?
Generally speaking, Part B costs around $134 per month. Then you need to add on the cost of your extra plan, deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays and other expenses not covered by Medicare.

9. Why am I getting so much junk mail and telephone calls about Medicare?
Medicare is a HUGE business for the private insurance companies. They want to make money on YOU! Usually, all of the junk mail you receive is from the plans that want you to purchase their plans….. Which may NOT be the best fit for you.

10. Who should I trust to help me get through this maze?
It is critical to place yourself in the CORRECT Medicare plan that is designed to meet your specific budget, health care needs and that works with your doctors and prescriptions.

It is very important that you work directly with a local, independent Medicare Specialist. They are trained directly by Medicare and will help you find the best plan to fit your needs, budget and work with your doctors and pharmacy. Usually, this service will cost you nothing and it will not raise your premiums to work with them.

You’re getting a new Medicare card!

Cards will be mailed between April 2018 – April 2019

We’ll be removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and mailing each person a new card. This will help keep your information more secure and help protect your identity. You’ll get a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, and it will only be used for your Medicare coverage. The new card won’t change your coverage or benefits. You’ll get more information from Medicare when your new card
is mailed.

Here’s how you can get ready:

• Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.

• Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.

• Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card. We’ll never ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.• Understand that mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.

Debbie can recommend plans that work with your doctors, accept all your medications and fit in your budget.

She also works with all the major healthcare companies in Michigan.

Don't Wait Any Longer.

Get help choosing a plan today!

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