There’s a big problem in the Medicare space today, especially if you are a Baby Boomer like me.
The problem is a heavy reliance on technology to determine your future.
Most folks my age are reasonably savvy with the Internet, as we’ve grown up with computers. The problem is not with the Internet itself, but when we try to solve our Medicare plan dilemmas using online research alone. This problem is magnified when we go to our friends of the same age for their “sage”advice.
This causes further confusion for you, since everyone always has an opinion and one person’s plan often does not suit your specific needs. There are so many nuances and variables with Medicare plans. This is why applying online often leads to picking the wrong plan. If this happens, you will find yourself locked in that plan for a year or more waiting on Open Enrollment before you can change.
You might believe that the Medicare seminars around your town would also be helpful. Unfortunately, most of these seminars are held by individual Medicare companies and their “captive” agents. Naturally, these agents and companies are extremely biased towards their own products.
Unraveling The Basics Of Medicare
With only a few exceptions, everyone turning 65 has the option to elect to receive Medicare coverage. People on Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) may qualify at any age.
However, Medicare remains one of the most complex systems a person over the age of 65 will ever encounter. That is why it is so important to utilize a licensed insurance broker, such as us here at Smart Health & Life Insurance Agency.
Medicare is health insurance for the following people:
- People 65 or older
- People under 65 with certain disabilities
Contrary to what many people believe, Medicare is not free. Before you sign up, it’s important to understand your options, because making the wrong choices can be expensive.
Even if you’ve been on a Medicare plan for years, it’s wise to revisit your options annually with a licensed broker to make sure you’ve got the plan that makes the most sense for you. Generally you can switch your Medicare plan and/or your Prescription Drug Plan during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs October 15th through December 7th. As you can imagine with any government program there are exceptions to the rule, such as folks who are both Medicare and Medicaid eligible. These folks can change on a monthly basis.
What Plan Is Right For You?
If you are turning 65, you may find yourself inundated with marketing material from every Medicare company and insurance agent out there, demanding you make a decision with them as soon as possible. You will find that Medicare is not “one size fits all”. There are lots of choices, and there are important differences among the choices.
You’ll be facing questions like these:
- Do I want only Original Medicare (Parts A & B)?
- What about Original Medicare coupled with a MediGap “supplemental” and a stand-alone Prescription Drug plan (Part D)
- Or a Medicare Advantage plan with (or without) a stand-alone Prescription Drug plan (Part D)?
- Plus many, many more…
It’s helpful to compare your needs to what’s out there and find a good match. What most insurance agents won’t tell you is that the Medicare company you choose is mostly irrelevant, as long as your doctors take the plan and your prescription drugs are covered properly.
It makes sense to enroll as soon as you become eligible. If you wait too long to enroll, you could miss your enrollment period, possibly accrue penalties and even end up paying more in premiums. You’ll also want to make sure your coverage begins when you want it to.
Understand Your Options
Your most important decision may be whether you want to choose Medicare (Parts A and B) with a supplemental Medigap policy or Medicare Advantage (Part C).
Medicare coverage (Parts A/B) are very basic. Typically to fill the gaps, hence the term “MediGap”, a supplemental policy combined with Prescription Drug coverage (Part D) needs to be purchased and added to basic Medicare.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
This is where Smart Health & Life Insurance Agency comes in. There is help available for everyone making Medicare Choices and there is no cost to you for our advice. An independent broker, like Smart Health & Life Insurance Agency, can help you avoid all these headaches and not cost you a single dime in fees.
If we do not readily know the answer we will do the necessary research to answer your question or point you in the right direction!
There are literally hundreds of supplemental options for Medicare coverage, and it is very confusing, even to the experts at times.
Let us help you understand the basics of Medicare so you can make a “$mart” decision about your coverage. If you are turning 65 soon or coming up on the Annual Enrollment period (October 15 through December 7th), contact us to review your options.
Just give us a call at: 813-994-5399 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions!