Kathy Beaven Insurance

Give us a call at Beaven Insurance, and we’ll be happy to review your options and help find the best plan to fit you and your financial situation.

Confused about your Medicare options?

(Don’t worry, you have lots of company.)

Understanding Medicare can be daunting. There’s so much information, it can be hard to determine just what applies to your situation and what doesn’t. Working with Beaven Insurance can simplify the process, helping you select the Medicare plan that makes the most sense for you now and in the future.

A Brief Explanation of Medicare

Medicare has been providing health insurance to Americans aged 65 or older since going into effect in 1966. Medicare also covers people with certain disabilities under 65 and those who suffer from end stage renal disease.

To qualify for Medicare at age 65, beneficiaries must be a U.S. Citizen or legal resident for at least 5 consecutive years. Also, you or your spouse must have paid Medicare taxes while working. For married couples, only one needs to have paid into the system for both to qualify.

 

Medicare is provided in “Parts.” Part A covers hospital, skilled nursing, hospice stays and home health care; Part B covers medical expenses, such as doctors’ visits, outpatient care and other services. While Part A is usually provided at no charge, you will be charged a premium for Part A if you or your spouse did not pay any Medicare taxes. Part B beneficiaries must pay a monthly premium. Some people will pay more for their Part B depending on their income. Do note that a late penalty will be incurred if Part B benefits are not selected upon eligibility. Parts A and B comprise “Original Medicare” and many opt to use this system.

Because Medicare doesn’t cover everything, a Medicare Supplement (formerly called a “Medigap” policy) helps pay for services and supplies not fully covered by Medicare Parts A and B, and may cover other items. There are many options for Medicare Supplement policies, and all come with a monthly premium. With a Medicare Supplement policy, members are free to use any provider, and this policy travels with the member. Remember, if the provider accepts Medicare – they will accept YOU.

In 2006, Part D, known as the Prescription Drug Benefit, went into effect, giving original Medicare beneficiaries an avenue for prescription drug coverage using a private insurance company approved by Medicare. Part D was a necessary addition to Original Medicare as Part A doesn’t cover prescription drugs at all and Part B only covers some. There is an additional monthly premium for Part D. A late penalty will be incurred if it is not purchased upon eligibility.

In 1997, Part C, known as the “Medicare Advantage Plan,” was added, giving beneficiaries the option to use a health insurer for their Medicare administration. These plans include all of the benefits for Parts A and B, but for a low or no-cost monthly premium. However, these plans have very specific networks and guidelines regarding co-pays and out-of-pocket costs. Most Medicare Advantage Plans also include Part D Prescription Drug coverage, although there are many plans available without that coverage (if desired).

Confused yet?

Give us a call at Beaven Insurance, and we’ll be happy to review your options and help find the best plan to fit you and your financial situation.