There are 10,000 Baby Boomers entering Medicare every day for the next 15 years. Most are completely stressed with what their Medicare options are because they know that one wrong move can jeopardize their 401K and life savings which they worked so hard for. If this is you, then read on for some Medicare tips all Boomers should know!
Enroll On Time
The only way Medicare is automatic for those turning 65 is when one is already receiving their Social Security check. If you are not receiving your Social Security check and not working full time with true company benefits from either your or your spouse’s employer, then you will want to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B online at socialsecurity.gov. Those working full-time with true company benefits or are covered under their spouse’s benefits may want to delay enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B until they finally retire or happen to be laid off from their current employment.
Medicare is NOT Free
Medicare covers a lot and there is a cost associated with Medicare Parts A and B. The premium for Part A is at no cost if you worked 10 years (or, 40 quarters) and paid Medicare taxes. Medicare Part B has a premium that is means-tested depending on how much you have earned for that year.
Learn Medicare’s Alphabet Soup
Original Medicare is Medicare Parts A and B, which cover hospital, medical and provider expenses. Medicare Part C, known as Medicare Advantage plan, is another way of receiving your Medicare benefits. Part D is Medicare Prescription Drug plans that can be enrolled as a stand-alone plan with Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement, or a Medicare Advantage plan with Part D included.
Medicare Covers A Lot
Medicare Part A covers in-patient hospital, skilled nursing facility care, home health, and hospice care. Medicare Part B covers physicians’ services, outpatient surgery/services, lab/X-rays, MRIs, durable medical equipment and preventative services, etc.
Know What Medicare DOESN’T Cover
Medical services not covered are vision, hearing, or dental expenses. Long-term care is also not paid for.
There’s No Network With Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement/Medigap
Your healthcare provider or facility bills Medicare directly.
Medicare Serves Those Under 65 Also
Those under 65 on Social Security Disability or ESRD (end-stage renal disease) qualify when they meet Medicare’s requirements for enrollment.
Medicare Advantage May Be a Good Option
Know that you can choose between Original Medicare (Parts A & B) or Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurance companies.
Toni Says: Make the most of Medicare! Schedule your important screenings, wellness visits, and preventative care.
Toni KingContributing Writer
Toni King is an author, columnist, and radio and TV personality who specializes in Medicare, Social Security, and long-term care planning. While conducting a Medicare workshop in 2009, Toni was approached by a member of the audience who had received incorrect information about his Medicare Part B enrollment from Social Security. After taking a couple of days to help the gentleman straighten out his overwhelming problem, Toni’s new mission had become clear. Following more than 27 years as a top sales leader in the Medicare insurance industry, Toni would become an advocate for Americans receiving Medicare. Since then, Toni has devoted her life and career to putting Medicare into “people terms” with the help of her books, consultations, workshops, and website, ToniSays.com. Read more from Toni King.