Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 11, 2019

What To Know About Medicare Insurance Plans For Newly Retired Seniors




Medicare is a health insurance program created by the United States government for its citizens. It primarily covers people who are aged 65 or older. Nonetheless, younger adults with disabilities and those with End-Stage Renal Disease as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, can also claim these benefits.

If you’re newly retired, it can be overwhelming when you think about the complicated health care system. Fortunately, there’s a Medicare insurance guide for seniors to help you understand the various aspects of the program.

Here are some other key things to know about Medicare insurance plans:

1. Sign Up as Soon as You Can

Retirees are given a seven-month window, which begins three months before your birth month when you turn 65, to enroll for the program. You must sign up as early as possible to ensure that you’re covered the moment you become eligible.

In case you’ve missed the initial enrollment period, the department holds open enrollment for all from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 for coverage that will start on Jul. 1. However, you’ll have to pay long-term late enrollment penalties. Avoid this additional cost by registering for the program during the designated time range.

2. Determine the Coverage You Need

There are four parts to the Medicare program. If you have Social Security, you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Coverage begins on your birth month when you turn 65. You can expect to receive your cards three months before the appropriate time.

To help you determine if you need all four parts, here are each one and the respective coverage they provide:

  • Part A – You’re automatically enrolled for this coverage, and, for most people, it’s subsidized by the government. The services you can expect for this part are tests, surgeries, hospice care, doctor visits, and home health services, among others.
  • Part B – Most senior citizens can also claim this benefit automatically as long as they have creditable coverage from their employer or spouse. It covers doctor’s services, medical equipment, outpatient procedures, and even ambulance services.

You ought to note that Parts A and B don’t cover long-term care, though, which you may need if you’re suffering from chronic illnesses, like prostate cancer.

  • Part C – This one is for Medicare Advantage, which is sold by private companies. Its coverage is similar to that of an HMO’s. It also encompasses the services for Parts A, B, and D so that you may end up with a better deal with this program.

Remember to read up and do your research to find the best plan that can cover all your healthcare-related expenses.

  • Part D – Private insurance companies also administer Part D. You have to enroll in this program if you don’t have an alternative prescription drug plan. Although, depending on the medicine you need, you’re going to have to pay extra for this.

3. Learn How Much You’re Paying for It

While a significant portion of your Medicare plan has been paid off in your working years, you may discover some deductions on your monthly Social Security check. Most retirees aren’t required to pay a premium for Part A.

The standard cost for Part B is 135.50 USD. Premiums are higher, though, for retirees who have a modified adjusted gross income that’s over 85,000 USD for single people and 170,000 USD for couples.

4. Calculate Possible Out-of-Pocket Costs

Aside from the premium, Medicare beneficiaries can expect to shell out money for most doctors’ services, which costs 20 percent of the fee. Lengthy hospitalization can also be financially devastating because you may be required to pay 335 USD per day if you stay in the hospital for more than two months.

One option to minimize these out-of-pocket costs is to sign up for Medicare Advantage. Another way is with a Medigap policy, which serves to supplement the government-subsidized healthcare program and isn’t a stand-alone plan.

While signing up for these programs still require additional costs, they provide significantly better coverage than merely relying on Parts A and B. With this, you don’t have to worry about skyrocketing medical bills, especially when you frequently visit the doctor.

Conclusion

Medicare can help you with your healthcare-related expenses when you retire. Remember to sign up within the specified period to ensure that your coverage starts right when you turn 65 and avoid having to pay late enrollment penalties.

Know the different Medicare parts and their premiums to determine the coverage you need. Identify potential out-of-pocket costs as well to prevent financial disasters.


 




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