At Great Lakes Insurance, we make Medicare easy. Dennis and Mitchell Kinzie will work personally with you to make sure that you are educated about the choices that you make.

What is Medicare?

The federal government defines Medicare as a federal health insurance program for People who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare is divided into a number of Parts, depending on what is being covered, which aids in the alphabet soup of confusion. The first two parts, A & B, make up what is known as "Original Medicare".

What is Medicare Part A and Part B?

  • Medicare Part A is sometimes called "Hospital Insurance." It helps cover inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care.
  • Most people should enroll in Medicare Part A when they turn 65, even if they have health insurance from an employer.
  • Medicare Part B is sometimes called "Medical Insurance." It helps cover services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services including certain vaccines and cancer screenings.
  • Most people need to enroll in Part B when they turn 65.
  • Only people who have health insurance from their (or their spouse's) current employer may be able to delay enrolling in Part B.

If you decide not to enroll in Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period, your next chance to enroll depends on your situation:

If You or Your Spouse Are 65 and Have Employer-Sponsored Benefits:

  • You should start your Part B coverage as soon as you stop working or lose your current employer coverage (even if you sign up for COBRA or retiree health coverage from your employer). You have 8 months to enroll in Medicare once you stop working OR your employer coverage ends (whichever happens first). But you'll want to plan ahead and contact Social Security before your employer coverage ends, this will prevent a coverage gap.

Note: If you do not enroll in Part B within 8 months of losing your coverage based on current employment, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty. In addition, you will only be able to enroll during the Medicare General Enrollment Period (from January 1 to March 31 each year) and your coverage won't start until July. This may cause a gap in your coverage.

How Much Will You Pay For Medicare Part A and Part B?

  • Medicare premiums vary depending on how long you (or your spouse) worked when you first signed up for Medicare and your current insurance.
  • Most people do NOT pay a monthly premium for Part A
  • Everyone pays a monthly premium for Part B. The premium varies depending on your income and when you enroll in Part B. Most people will pay the standard premium amount (the base rate for 2024 is $174.70 per month).

Determine Your Initial Enrollment Period

  • There are only certain times when people can enroll in Medicare.
  • The first time you can enroll is called your "Initial Enrollment period." Your 7-month Initial Enrollment Period begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65 and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

What Do I Need To Do After I'm Enrolled In Part A and Part B?

  • Once you are enrolled in Part A and Part B you will have health coverage under "Original Medicare". Because Original Medicare does not cover all of your health care expenses, you should consider adding additional coverage.
  • There are additional types of insurance available to people who have Part A and Part B, including Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap), Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare prescription drug coverage, Dental and/or Vision.

Next Steps!

A no-charge consultation with Dennis or Mitchell Kinzie will help you find the ideal solution for your specific benefit and budget needs. Please contact us at 616-656-5555.