If only someone would take the time to teach seniors about Medicare, without all the jargon, how refreshing that would be.
Luckily, Medicare is a whole lot easier to understand than many people think. There are portions of their various policies that leave something to be desired in the comprehension and plain English department, but suffice it to say that for the most part, what someone needs to know is easy to find out and easy to understand.
There is a handbook available from Medicare if the spirit moves a person to ask for it. However, it is confusing at best and leaves readers with the vague feeling they missed something, and they usually did. To really narrow the focus of what is definitely needed for Medicare, do some pre-planning and have the various options selected by March.
Make critical decisions like going with an HMO as opposed to private insurance or a PPO. Perhaps an existing retirement plan offers health benefits after the age of 65. These are things that need to be taken into consideration when selecting Medicare plans and Medicare supplement insurance.
Other decisions that need to be made include deciding if it makes sense to take part A, which is free, and part B that is paid out of social security. Something that needs to be perfectly clear about part A is that it picks up 80 percent of the costs of a hospital stay, but it does not cover the doctors treating a patient during that stay. Alternatively, part B offers doctor/surgeon/specialist coverage that handles 80 percent of physician visits, lab tests, surgeons and other specialists. This is usually the plan that most seniors will use.
A smart move for seniors is to take advantage of open enrollment. This is when three months prior to the senior’s birthday and three months after it, they are considered to be in open enrollment. This is useful information because during this period of time there is no health underwriting with insurance companies.
HMO’s can definitely deny coverage based on the health of an individual. However, insurance companies cannot, not if the person is in open enrollment. This is a golden opportunity to take advantage of if one’s health isn’t that great.
Depending on what state a senior resides in, they may wind up paying between $100 and $175 for Medicare supplements. In other states there is the option to choose plan F or plan J which would mean no deductibles, co-pays and the Medicare supplement insurance would pay the remaining balance of the medical bills. It’s best to check with a licensed Medicare insurance broker who will be able to outline what plans are available in various states and their costs before making any decisions about what Medicare plan and Medicare supplements are needed.