Updated: Nov 17
As individuals approach age 65, they are usually inundated by calls and receive an abundance of information about Medicare in the mail. Medicare can be intimidating and is unfamiliar territory for most everyone entering this new age bracket. Medicare terminology is like a foreign language. One might not even know what Medicare questions to ask.
Questions someone might ask:
Do I need to sign up for Medicare? If so, when should I sign up?
Should I supplement original Medicare?
How much does Part A and/or Part B cost?
Should I choose a Medigap policy plus a Part D prescription plan, or should I choose a Medicare Advantage plan?
Based on my current health and prescription needs, what plan is best for me?
Do I really need prescription coverage if I do not take any medications?
Are there any penalties for not signing up on time?
Needs vary, so each Medicare plan needs to be tailored to the individual. Some Medicare beneficiaries choose to enroll in Medicare and sign up for a Medigap policy. Others choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. By law, Medicare Advantage plans are obligated to cover everything original Medicare A & B covers, and they often include several other items such as prescriptions, dental, vision & hearing benefits.
Medicare Advantage can also provide additional benefits such as an over-the-counter allowance, fitness benefits and some plans even offer companion care. Many Advantage Plans have a zero medical deductible and have co pays for services with a maximum out-of-pocket limit per year for the plan, capping the financial exposure for the member.
The Medicare beneficiary is on a quest to obtain accurate information. That can be accomplished by visiting websites such as Medicare.gov and from seasoned full-time Medicare agents. Connecting with a Medicare expert will assist in answering questions and guide the Medicare beneficiary in tailoring a plan that will fit their individual needs.