Women’s Series, Understanding Medicare and Health Care
While doing research on women and finances I found out that some of the top concerns among close-to-retired women are social security, Medicare and health insurance. Last month I wrote about social security so this month I’ll cover Medicare and health insurance.
What is Medicare? Medicare is the US Government health care program provided to individuals that reach age 65. Some important tips are below:
- Medicare Part A: It is known as the “hospital insurance” and it covers inpatient care at a hospital, skilled nursing facility and hospice. It also covers services like lab tests, surgery, doctor visits and home health care.
- Medicare Part B: It is known as the “medical insurance” and it covers doctor and other health care provider services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health care, and some preventative services.
- Medicare Part D: It is the drug plan
- If you don’t sign up when you are first eligible then there is a penalty for late enrollment
- Medicare starts at age 65 regardless if you are drawing social security or not.
- The cost is $102 a month for everyone
- If you are receiving social security then your Medicare cost will be drawn from your social security check
- If you don’t apply for it at age 65 then you CAN NOT apply for it later
- It’s IMPERATIVE to have a MediGap policy once you are fully retired and are not covered by an employer health plan. Medicare does not cover enough of the medical bills you will experience in retirement.
If you would like to learn more about Medicare and Medigap please go to: www.medicare.gov
What is MediGap insurance? Medigap insurance is secondary coverage that fills in the gaps in Medicare’s coverage
- Medigap is insurance purchased by an individual from a private insurance company
- Medigap policies pay some or all of Medicare’s deductibles, co-insurance and co-payments
- It does not substitute for Part A or Part B of Medicare
- Medigap does not supplement Part D of Medicare (the prescription drug plan)
- Medipag also does not pay for long term care expenses
- The best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is during the Medigap Open Enrollment period. This period begins on the first day of the month that the beneficiary is both enrolled in Medicare part B and is 65 years or older.a
- The insurance company cannot base the insurance rates on any historical medical condition; the beneficiary is guaranteed the right to enroll in a plan of their choosing without being charged more or denied coverage completely.a
- If someone enrolls outside of their enrollment period insurance companies may adjust their rates based on a variety of factors based on whether the plan is a community-rated plan, issue-age rated plan or attained-age-rated plan.a
- In the state of Georgia there are 10 standardized Medigap plans available. They are noted by the letters A through N.a
- The cost and the plan coverage details are different for each of the 10 plans.
If you are interested in getting a quote for Medigap coverage or learning more about the 10 Georgia plans please refer to website: www.ehealthmedicareplans.com.
Understanding the basics about Medicare and Medigap insurance can be very beneficial when reaching the age of 65. Medicare is a requirement and Medigap, we believe, is a necessity in retirement. If there is anything I can review with you or any questions you have please let me know.
Our next Women’s Series newsletter will be about Women’s Longevity.
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a – https://www.ehealthmedicare.com/georgia-medicare-plans/medicare-supplement/
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