We hope your celebration isn't cut short with questions nagging you about Medicare enrollment and if your coverage will be enough or cost too much. Sarah Heaton, our resident Medicare specialist, is always willing to help guide you through the process.
The best time to buy Medical Supplement Insurance is within the first 7 months of your open enrollment period. This is because you can buy Medical Supplement Insurance during this period regardless of health conditions. The open enrollment period is a 7-month period that starts 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after you ask to join a plan. If you join during one of the 3 months before you turn 65, your coverage will begin the first day of the month you turn 65.
After the 7 month period, your coverage could be more expensive and your options for coverage may be limited based on your health.
The first thing you need to find out is what does Medicare cover in the first place?
Part A - Hospital Insurance
Part B - Medical Insurance for doctor visits, tests, and other services
After you pay a deductible, Medicare pays its share of the Medical-approved amount, and you pay your share (coinsurance and deductibles).1
This information probably will lead you to ask, "how is my deductible for Medicare determined and how much will it cost?"
Premium costs. If you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years and paid Medicare taxes, you won't pay any monthly fee, called a premium, for Part A. Most people don’t pay a premium.
If you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for less than 10 years total, you will have to pay a monthly fee for Part A coverage. In 2015, the cost can be as much as $407 a month.
Deductible costs. If you stay overnight in the hospital or use other Part A services, you'll pay a deductible. The deductible is the amount you must pay before Medicare pays anything for your care.
For 2015, the deductible for a hospital stay is $1,260.
Copay costs. You also pay copays for Part A. It's a set amount you pay for specific types of care (talk to Sarah about what is covered and how to fill in the gaps). If you're in the hospital for more than 60 days, your copay is $315 a day for days 61 to 90. After that, your copay is $630 a day.
Premium costs: Each month you pay a premium of $104.90. If your income is higher than $85,000, you have to pay a higher premium. How much you make determines how much you pay, ranging from $146.90 to $335.70.
Deductible costs: You also pay a $147 deductible each year. After you pay it, you pay coinsurance, which is 20% of your medical costs.
Penalties: If you don't sign up for Part B when you first become eligible, you may have to pay a penalty if you did not have health insurance through an employer or union.
Are you now asking... "What are the chances I will need the services covered by Medicare?
Will my finances survive a hospitalization?
- Cancer affects 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women
- Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S has a stroke. 3/4 of strokes occur in people over the age of 65.*
- 79% of those who filed for bankruptcy protection had medical insurance in place when they were diagnosed and treated.
Are you concerned about how you will pay for your premiums, deductibles and co-pays based on your projected retirement income?
Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage policies are a couple of options that can help.
Talk to Sarah now before your 7-month window is over to discover as many possibilities for coverage as possible.
* Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Stroke Facts, 2011