Ulness Health offers 1-on-1 meetings and educational seminars for understanding your Medicare options.
Medicare can be complicated! Let our team of insurance experts help find the best plan for you.
What is Medicare? – Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program for Americans aged 65 and older, as well as younger people with disabilities, end stage renal disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
What are the parts of Medicare? – Medicare has four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility stays, and hospice care. Part B covers doctors’ services, lab tests, and other outpatient services. Part C is known as Medicare Advantage and is an alternative way for Medicare beneficiaries to receive their Medicare Part A and Part B benefits by signing up for a plan through a private insurance company. Part D covers prescription drugs.
I am eligible for Medicare. How do I sign up? – You may enroll in Medicare on the Social Security Administration website. Once you have enrolled, you will receive a red, white and blue striped Medicare card in the mail. However, the process doesn’t stop there. Now you must decide if you want to enroll in a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Cost plan. You must also enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan. See below to understand more about your options.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR OPTIONS
A Plan For Covering Your Hospital and Doctor Costs
There are three major options for covering your hospital and doctor costs (Part A and Part B):
Option #1: Original Medicare Alone – One option is to just have Part A and Part B (collectively referred to as “Original Medicare”), and to not sign up for a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage plan, or Medicare Cost plan. The major downside of this option is that Original Medicare does not have a maximum out-of-pocket limit, so it leaves you with the potential for unlimited expenses not covered by the plan.
Option #2: Original Medicare + Medicare Supplement Insurance – A second option is to have Part A and Part B (“Original Medicare) plus a Medicare Supplement purchased from a private insurance company. A Medicare Supplement, also known as a Medigap policy, generally covers the remaining 20% of costs Original Medicare does not cover. Medicare Supplements are a great way to ensure all of your Medicare-covered health care costs will be paid by the plan. However, Medicare Supplements are often quite expensive. The best thing to do is meet with an agent to figure out if a Medicare Supplement is right for you.
Option #3: Medicare Advantage or Medicare Cost plans – A third option is to sign up for a Medicare health plan through a private insurer. With Medicare Advantage, the insurance plan takes the place of your Part A and Part B coverage that you would otherwise have through the federal government. A Medicare Cost plan is more of a hybrid between a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Advantage plan, but usually functions like a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans have a maximum out-of-pocket limit, so your liability is limited.
A Plan for Covering Your Prescription Drug Costs
In addition to choosing one of the options above for covering your hospital and doctor costs, you also need a plan for covering your prescription drug costs. Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) are only available from private insurance companies. If you choose Original Medicare alone or pair it with a Medicare Supplement, then you will need to purchase a PDP by itself. This is known as a stand-alone PDP. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, it will often include a PDP embedded in the plan to cover your prescription drug costs. If you choose a Medicare Cost plan, you may choose the plan’s embedded PDP or a stand-alone plan.
Some people don’t need to purchase a PDP because they have coverage through the VA or a retiree plan. Regardless of which option you choose, it is smart to have prescription drug coverage. Otherwise, a penalty may apply if you don’t sign up when you are first eligible.
As you can see, there are many options and variations available. Please contact us if you would like one of our agents to help you sort through your options and choose the plan that is best for you.
Medicare Health Plans can be complicated! Let our team of insurance experts help find the best plan for you.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
Below are some specific questions to keep in mind when choosing your Medicare coverage:
Is my doctor in-network? Some plans have networks of doctors, so be sure your doctor is included in the plan’s network before making a decision.
What is the monthly premium? This will often be a major consideration. Some plans offer generous coverage, but have high premiums. Other plans offer less coverage, but have lower premiums. We can help you decide which is best for you.
What is the maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) amount? If you are choosing a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Cost plan, it will have an out-of-pocket maximum. The amounts differ from plan to plan, so be sure to know what your maximum exposure is.
What is the travel benefit? The travel benefit is the type and amount of coverage offered by the plan when you are traveling outside your home state. If you plan to travel, be sure to know what kind of coverage you will have while you are away.
Still have more questions?
If you are looking to learn more about Medicare health plans, Ulness Health Insurance & Wellness offers free educational seminars. Click the green button below to view the full list of seminars.
We offer Medicare health plans and prescription drug plans from many insurance companies.
SCHEDULE A 1-ON-1 MEETING
At Ulness Health, we strive to provide you with the guidance and resources needed to help you understand your health insurance or Medicare plan. We offer free, 1-on-1 meetings throughout the year to assist you in choosing the best plans to meet your health care needs, and to fit your budget.
NOT SURE WHERE TO START?
Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll contact you to help with your next steps.