Trying to find the right Medicare insurance product can be a difficult task. It can be plain confusing. You want to make the right decision, but you don’t want to pay more than is necessary. In this current economy you have to save money wherever possible, and one of those places is insurance. You may have a memory of your parents talking about their Medicare supplement insurance. You probably have a few friends that are on Medicare now and have talked about what insurance plan they chose. Now it’s your turn to go through the process and it’s a decision you don’t want to guess on. Education is the best way to approach the buying process when in the market for Medicare supplement insurance. It can be a confusing subject, but with just a little research and time, you can educate yourself on the basics of Medicare and the insurance products related to Medicare. Once you learn the fundamentals, you can make a decision on your insurance, and feel great about getting the best product for the best price. Let’s start with the different “parts” to Medicare. There are four “parts” to Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. You have probably heard of all those except for Part C. Let’s define those “parts” of Medicare right now so you can quickly understand what they do.
Medicare Supplement Insurance
The most common type of Medicare insurance is the Medicare Supplement. A Medicare supplement helps to pay the gaps in Medicare Parts A and B. The Plan F Medicare supplement (the most popular) pays all the gaps in Medicare, while other plans pay some of the gaps. The network for Medicare supplements is the Medicare network. Regardless of the insurance company you choose, they all utilize the Medicare network. Doctors and facilities that accept Medicare, have to accept your Medicare supplement. The billing process for Medicare supplements is also standardized. Medicare supplements utilize the “medicare crossover” billing system, which allows billing departments to review payment for claims without having to manually bill the insurance companies. All Medicare supplements have standardized benefits as well. This makes the shopping process much easier. For example, you may see quotes like this: AARP Plan F $254 per month, Mutual of Omaha Plan F is $275 per month, Gerber Life Plan F is $249 per month. The prices vary, but the benefits are identical from one insurance company to the next. Given this information, you should choose the Gerber Life Plan F as it has the best premium. However, also consider that Gerber is also new in the Medicare market and is more likely to raise the rates as they begin to establish a book of business. That is why it is helpful to have an experienced broker to help you sort through the puzzle of insurance carriers and their rate history.
This part of Medicare covers hospitalization. You become eligible for Medicare Part A on your 65th birth month. You cannot defer Part A even if you are working. As long as you or your spouse worked at least 10 years in the United States, you are eligible for Part A. There is no premium for Part A.
This part of Medicare covers physician/outpatient charges. Basically Part B covers any charge that is not considered hospitalization. In 2013 the premium for Part B is $105.40 per month. If you are drawing your social security check now, this amount will be deducted from your social security check. If you are not drawing social security yet, this amount will be billed to your quarterly. You become eligible for Part B on your 65th birth month, but can defer Part B if you are working and have creditable coverage, and can later enroll in Part B when you have retired (you will not pay any penalty as long as your prior coverage was “creditable”).
This part of Medicare was put into law in 2005 and is the privatization of Medicare. Part C, referred to as Medicare Advantage, is a private Medicare type plan. When you select a Medicare Advantage plan, you are no longer covered by Medicare’s Part A and Part B, but by a private insurance company solely. Medicare Advantage plans can have drug coverage rolled into the plan as well as other benefits such as dental & vision. These plans are not a Medicare supplement, but are a stand-alone plan. If you are interested in a Medicare Advantage plan, do your due diligence and make sure you have checked to see if your doctors will accept the plan you are considering. These plans can be very confusing as the benefits and the providers who accept them can change from year to year.
This part of Medicare refers to the drug coverage side of Medicare. When looking for a Medicare prescription drug plan, you should visit www.medicare.gov and utilize their prescription drug calculator. This tool is pretty accurate and will help you find the drug plan that best suits you, based on the medications you take. Hopefully this brief but informative article has helped you to understand the basics of Medicare and Medigap insurance.
If you have any questions or would like additional information or quotes regarding the Medicare insurance available in your area, we can help! Call us at: 561-935-3907 You can speak with someone who can help you with any questions you may have.
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