Last month, we discussed a little about Medicare and how confusing it is to most people. We discussed the different parts of Medicare (Part A, Part B and Part D) along with options on how to get your coverage.
Today I want to discuss a little about what you should do to prepare for Medicare.
Preparing for Medicare
The first thing you should do is enroll in Medicare Part B. Medicare’s initial enrollment period lasts for seven months, beginning three months before you turn 65. Most people do automatically qualify for Medicare Part A (which is the Hospital insurance) if they or their spouse paid Medicare taxes while working for 10 years or more. Part B (Medical Insurance) is voluntary and requires enrollment.
The 2nd thing to do is to choose your Medicare Plan. There are two plan options.
The first one is Original Medicare (Parts A & B) which provides coverage of Medicare-approved doctors, hospitals, and other services. If you want prescription drug coverage, you must purchase Part D through a private insurance company (Citywide will assist you in this). You should do this during the initial enrollment period to avoid a possible late penalty. (Another great reason to let Citywide assist you in this entire process). Prices and coverage can vary from plan to plan.
The Medicare Advantage Plan (part C) provides coverage through traditional channels such as the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and offers broader services than original Medicare; with dental, hearing, and vison coverage. Some will cover prescription drugs, which would then eliminate the need for Part D.
The Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t require Medicare Supplemental Insurance, but you must pay the Part B premium in addition to the plan’s monthly premium. As a consumer, your best bet is to compare the two plan options to find out which best suits your medical circumstances. Citywide would be honored to assist you in this decision too, so please feel free to reach out to us.
The third thing to do is to select your Medicare Supplemental policy, often called Medigap. This is offered at Citywide Insurance and helps cover expenses not covered by Medicare, such as co-payments, co-insurance, along with deductibles. Unlike Medicare, this policy may cover medical expenses when you travel outside the US. Ask Citywide more about this to determine if this fits in your budget and your medical circumstances.
The fourth thing is you should definitely plan for out of pocket expenses. Some of the expenses not covered by Medicare would be most dental care, dentures, hearing aids and eye exams. You should plan accordingly or let Citywide suggest some options for you.
And finally, you should review your Medicare Plan. Each year, you should look over your annual notice of change letter. You may find some opportunities for new services and some additional savings.
Our Citywide representatives would be more than happy to review this with you, and we promise to give you our honest opinion of what best will suit you and your pocketbook.
Call Citywide today and let us help guide you in the best possible direction we can!