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What New To Medicare Recipients Need To Know

I can remember when my mom was new to Medicare she experienced information overload and struggled to sort through all of the information.  She was determined to figure it out on her own and she was within reach of making a decision.

The next thing that happens is the post office telling her that they needed to hire someone new just to handle all of her Medicare fliers.  

As she began reading each Medicare mailer she went from being confident to utterly confused.  Does she get a Medicare supplement plan A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, or N or does she pick a Medicare Advantage plan because that is the path that seems to provide the least resistance (at least when it comes to signing up).  

Making the right choice on your own without expert help from a Medicare Insurance Agent is like throwing a dart at a wall of plans and hoping for the best.

With proper planning and help, we can help you avoid possible penalties and enable you to get the most out of your Medicare benefits

What New To Medicare Recipients Need To Know

Here is a Checklist and the Steps you should take to get the ball rolling

You must have everything you will need in order. This way, you are as prepared as you can be when signing up for Medicare. Following is a checklist of things to help you become more prepared as you explore your options.

  • Confirm you are eligible for a Medicare Supplement / Medigap plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan

  • If you are leaning towards a Medicare Advantage plan, do you qualify for a Special Needs Plan that may serve me better?

  • Put together a list of medications you are on and the dosage of each

  • For Medicare Advantage plans, list your must-have Doctors and their office address

  • List your must-have Hospitals, Medical clinics, Cancer Center Facilities, etc.

  • Receive and verify all information on your Medicare ID card is correct.

  • Learn about your coverage options: Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (either standalone coverage or included within your Medicare Advantage plan), or Medicare Advantage Plans Part C.

  • Research Medicare Part D coverage and ensure the plan you pick covers your prescription drug cost.

  • Get one of us on your side so we can provide you with all the needed help. Our help is free, and we are always available to answer your questions.

  • Depending on the plan you picked, you may need to review your plan on an annual basis to ensure there have been no significant changes. This mainly applies to your Medicare Advantage plans and Part D coverages. Your Medicare Supplement Insurance / Medigap plan remains the same each year.

Now that you know what steps to take, it’s time to get started on your Medicare planning. You can find all the information you need right here on our website. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help!

I am about to turn 65 what should I do to prepare?

If you are just now turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare for the first time, you should know a few things about signing up for Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap).

  1. If you want to avoid having pre-existing condition clauses in your Medicare policy, you will want to sign up within 6 months of your 65th birthday.

  2. You can also sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) during this time.

  3. If you want to enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug Plan, sign up immediately to avoid penalties.

Social Security Benefits

I am currently receiving Social Security benefits and I am enrolled in Medicare what should I do?

If you are currently enrolled in Medicare due to a qualified disability and turning 65, you may want to consider switching from your current Medicare plan to a new one. The reason for this is that most Medigap policies available to those who are 65 and over do not have pre-existing condition clauses.

If you have a pre-existing condition, you will want to make sure that your new policy covers it.

You can also switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) to a Medigap policy during this time as well.

Lastly, if you are enrolled in Medicaid services, you should know that you can switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) at any time.

I am currently enrolled in Medicaid services what should I do?

If you are currently enrolled in Medicaid services for your medical insurance, you may want to switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). This is because most Medicare Advantage Plans offer more comprehensive coverage than Medicaid.

Medicare Beneficiaries can also switch from a Medigap policy to a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) during this time.

Lastly, if you are enrolled in Medicaid services for your medical insurance, you should know that you can switch to Medicare Supplement Plans / Medigap policy at any time.

If you have any questions about switching your coverage, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We would be happy to help!

Leaving an Employer's Group Health Plan and enrolling in Medicare

Going from an employer-based health plan where your human resources department spent weeks figuring out which plan would be the most cost-effective and provide the needed health insurance coverage for their employees has now become your job. 

You might not have known that HR Department has someone like us who helped them weed through everything and provided the needed support to make the right decision. 

Integrity Now Insurance Brokers recommends talking with your health care providers to check what Medicare plans they accept.

When transitioning from an employer plan to Medicare as your primary health insurance, you do not have to go at this alone. We are here to ensure you can make the right Medicare decision that will be best suited for you.  

Things to keep in mind when making the switch to Medicare

If you do not have a Cobra extension on your employer’s health insurance, you will want to sign up for a Part D Medicare prescription drug plan within 60 days of your 65th birthday or pay a late enrollment penalty.

You will also want to consider signing up for a Medigap supplement Plan G to help you cover costs that Medicare does not cover.

If you decide on a Medigap supplement plan, you will want to sign up within six months of your 65th birthday to avoid any pre-existing conditions clauses in the policy.

Medicare beneficiaries can also sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) instead of a Medigap supplement and Part D plan.

If you work after age 65 and have health insurance through your employer, you can delay signing up for Medicare without paying any late enrollment penalties.

Once you decide to sign up for Medicare, you will want to consider signing up for a  Medicare Part C or a Medicare Part D plan.

If you think you might want to keep your employer’s health insurance even after you turn 65, check with your HR department about any possible penalties for doing so.

It is always best to consult with a Medicare Insurance Agent before making any decisions about your Medicare coverage.

When you are ready to sign up for a Medigap supplement plan or a Part D prescription drug plan, we can help you compare plans and find the best coverage at the best price.

The great news is that you can find most of the information you need about Medicare planning on this website. We pride ourselves on being a place focused on educating our clients. By the time we help you obtain your Medicare insurance, you know you have made the correct decision and not one that you may regret in the future.

Retirement

My Employer Provides Health Insurance After I Retire Should I Keep My Employer Plan Or Not?

After you retire, you can either keep your employer’s health insurance plan or not. As you are new to Medicare, you must consider a few things when making this decision.

First, find out if your employer plan is eligible for Medicare. If it is, you can enroll in both Medicare and your employer plan.

Second, compare the costs of your employer plan with other health insurance options. You may find that alternatives are more affordable.

Finally, consider your specific health needs and whether or not your employer plan covers them.

Many Medicare beneficiaries save money and obtain better health care coverage when they leave their employer plans.

However, we have also seen several employer plans that are better to remain on. For these Medicare beneficiaries, we typically recommend keeping their employer-sponsored plan.

If you have any questions, speak with a licensed Medicare insurance agent to help you make the best decision for your circumstances.

My Employer Offers Superior Health Insurance But Not Hearing, Dental or Vision Coverage are their other insurance coverage options available at Retirement?

As a Medicare insurance agent, I often get questions about what kind of coverage is available at retirement. While many people have superior health insurance through their employer’s plan, they may not have hearing, dental, or vision coverage.

There are other insurance options available that can help cover these costs.

For example, some private insurance companies offer supplemental insurance policies to help pay for hearing aids, dental work, or vision care.

These policies are usually very affordable and can make a big difference in the quality of life for retirees.

We have access to some of the country’s best hearing, dental, and vision plans.

If you are not sure if you have the coverage you need, I recommend giving us a call and talking with one of our insurance agents to get more information. With the right coverage in place, you can enjoy a worry-free retirement.

Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

Do I need to sign up for Medicare prescription drug coverage?

Medicare prescription drug coverage is optional for most people. If you have Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B, you can choose to enroll in Medicare Part D.

Suppose you decide not to enroll in Medicare Part D when you’re first eligible and don’t have other creditable prescription drug coverage through an employer plan or the Veterans Administration. In that case, you may pay a late enrollment penalty.

You can enroll in Medicare prescription drug coverage only during certain times of the year. Part D enrollment periods differ from the general enrollment periods for Medicare Part A and Part B.

If you have questions about whether or not you need to enroll in Medicare prescription drug coverage, I recommend talking with a licensed insurance agent specializing in Medicare. We can help you understand your situation and make the best decision for your needs.

What is the Initial Enrollment Period?

The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is a seven-month period when an individual first becomes eligible for Medicare coverage.

This enrollment period begins three months before the month of the individual’s 65th birthday, includes the month of the individual’s 65th birthday, and ends three months after that person’s 65th birthday. 

During this period, individuals can choose to enroll in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), or a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).

If an individual does not enroll during their IEP, they may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

Medicare beneficiaries already covered by group medical insurance (including retiree health insurance) do not need to take any action during their IEP; they will be automatically enrolled in Medicare when they become eligible.

However, individuals with other types of medical insurance (such as COBRA or individual health insurance) should contact their current insurance company to determine how their coverage will work with Medicare.

Medigap Policy

When should I sign up for a Medigap Supplement plan?

Most older adults eligible for Medicare will want to sign up for a Medigap supplement plan. These plans help pay for some out-of-pocket costs that Medicare doesn’t cover, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

There are ten different Medigap plans available, so it’s essential to compare them and find the one that’s right for you.

Medicare beneficiaries usually enroll in a Medigap plan during your six-month Medigap open enrollment period, which begins on the first day of the month that you’re both 65 years old AND enrolled in Medicare Part B.

What is the Difference between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare?

Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare. Private insurance companies offer these plans and provide the same benefits as Original Medicare, plus additional benefits in some cases.

Unlike Original Medicare, administered by the federal government, Medicare Advantage plans are run by private insurance companies.

This means that each plan can vary in terms of cost and coverage. However, all Medicare Advantage plans must cover the same essential benefits as Original Medicare. This includes hospitalization, medical care, and Medicare prescription drug plans.

In addition, Medicare Advantage plans often come with extra benefits, such as basic dental and vision coverage. As a result, patients can choose a plan that best meets their needs and budget.

If you’re interested in enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, I recommend talking with a licensed insurance agent specializing in Medicare. We can help you compare the plans available and find the one that’s right for you.

What are some of the best ways to save money on my Prescription Drugs?

There are a few different ways to save money on prescription drugs. One way is to use generic drugs whenever possible. Generic medicines are just as effective as brand-name drugs but usually cost less.

Another way to save on prescription drugs is to get them through a mail-order pharmacy. Mail-order pharmacies typically charge lower prices for medications than brick-and-mortar pharmacies.

You can also save money on prescription drugs by using patient assistance programs. These programs are offered by pharmaceutical companies and can help you get your medications for free or at a reduced cost.

Finally, some insurance plans offer prescription drug savings programs. These programs allow you to get discounts on your medications through participating pharmacies.

Medicare Insurance Expert

Skip the Research and ask for Help

There is no reason to drive yourself crazy with all of this research. One of our Medicare Insurance Agents can walk you through this process step by step. 

Our services come at no cost to you, so you have nothing to lose.  

 Call (562) 735-3553 

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