MediGap Advisor's Mission: Making Medicare Easy to Understand
Newsletter Issue #2
As president of MediGap Advisors, I want to ensure you have all of the resources available to you so you can better understand how Medicare works. I’d like to offer you our Special Report, Medicare Made Easy, which provides extensive insight as to what Medicare does and does not cover.
This month, I’ll be explaining the “parts” of Medicare and how they work to provide you the health and prescription coverage you’ll need once you turn 65.
Medicare’s Basic “Parts”
Medicare Part A. Inpatient services are covered by Medicare Part A, for which there is no monthly premium as long as you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while you worked. (If you have to pay for it, Part A will cost you $437 per month.)
Once you’re admitted to the hospital, you’re responsible for your Part A deductible each benefit period ($1,364 for 2019). After paying your Part A deductible, your coinsurance is $0 for the first 60 hospital days of a benefit period.
A benefit period begins the day you’re admitted and ends once you’ve gone 60 days in a row without inpatient care. If you are admitted again after the 60-day mark, you then start a new benefit period and are responsible for another Part A deductible. You can learn more about Medicare’s Part A benefits here.
Medicare Part B. Outpatient services are covered by Medicare Part B. When you become eligible for Medicare, if you choose to accept Part B coverage, you’ll have to pay a monthly premium ($135.50 per month for 2019, unless you’re considered a high earner –then it could be more).
Medicare Part B requires you to meet an annual deductible ($185 for 2019) before Medicare begins paying your claims. Once you’ve satisfied your annual deductible, claims are generally paid at 80 percent, leaving you with 20 percent coinsurance. For a detailed review of what Medicare Part B covers, visit our Web page.
Medicare Part D. During your Medicare initial enrollment period, you will want to select a prescription plan, otherwise known as Part D, or choose a Medicare Advantage plan that also includes Part D.
Most Part D plans have a deductible you must meet before your plan begins paying for your prescriptions, but the maximum allowed Part D deductible for 2019 is $415. You can learn more about Part D prescription coverage on our MediGap Advisors’ website.
Preparing for Your Future
I believe in making Medicare easy to understand and providing you the resources you’ll need to make an educated decision regarding your Medicare benefits when the time comes.
It’s important to note that should you delay signing up for Medicare, you could be subject to some pretty hefty penalties. If you delay signing up for Part B for instance, your premium goes up 10 percent for each 12-month period you don’t have coverage, and this penalty never goes away. It’s best that you speak with your advisor and carefully weigh your options before making this decision.
I also want to offer you a book I wrote, The Medicare Playbook, that goes in-depth to explain your options regarding signing up for original Medicare, as well as the insurance products that complement it. This book takes on the complex language of Medicare in plain-spoken terms, with humor and simplicity that make getting the information you need straightforward and easy.
I hope this will help clear any confusion about Medicare.
Until We Meet Again…
Next month, I’ll introduce you to Medicare supplement plans and how they cover many of the gaps left behind by Medicare. I’ll outline the various Medicare enrollment periods and how important it is to meet your Medicare initial enrollment deadlines. (If you’re curious, you can go ahead and read it now.)