Medicare FAQ

Q: When should I enroll in Medicare Part A & B?
A: When you first become eligible for Medicare there is a 7-month initial enrollment period. In the 7-month period you can sign up three months before your 65th birthday, on your birthday month, or three months after your birthday month.
Q: When Should I enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans?
A: You become eligible during the first month your 65 and have already enrolled in Medicare Part B. This is a one-time opportunity to get enrolled where you current or preexisting medical conditions will not count against you. If you enroll after this period, then you could be denied coverage due to your medical conditions.
Q: Can I still enroll in Medicare Part A or B if I missed the initial enrollment period?
A: Yes. If you didn’t sign up during the initial enrollment period for Medicare Part A or B then you can sign up during general enrollment period which is January 1st through March 31st of each year.
Q: When does my coverage start if I enroll for Medicare Part A & B during the initial enrollment period?
A: If you enroll the 3 months before your birthday then your coverage will begin the first day of your birthday month. If your birthday is on the first day of the month your coverage will begin one month after you enroll. If you enroll 3 months after your birthday month then your coverage will begin 3 months after you enroll.
Q: When can I change my Medicare plans?
A: During October 15th through December 7th the annual enrollment period you can join, switch, or drop Medicare coverage plans.
Q: What is Medicare?
A: This is considered Part A & B with no other health care coverage. Medicare will cover approx. 80% of your medical expenses.
Q: What is Medicare Supplement Insurance or Medigap?
A: You can purchase Medicare supplement insurance as long as you are enrolled in Medicare Part A & B. This additional coverage will cover the other 20% that Medicare Part A & B don’t.
Q: What is the Medicare Advantage Plan?
A: This is call called Medicare Part C which is offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare so you get additional coverage that is not paid by original Medicare.
Q: What if my employer or spouse’s employer already offer a Medicare Plan?
A: If your employer offers a Medicare plan, you will still want Original Medicare as your employer Medicare will be secondary insurance to Original Medicare.
Q: What is Medicare Part A?
A: Medicare Part A covers your inpatient hospital care, nursing facility, hospice, and home health care.
Q: What is Medicare Part B?
A: Medicare Part B covers your doctor’s visits and services.
Q: What is Medicare Part C?
A: Medicare Part C offers additional medical coverage through external providers like HMO or PPO. This plan doesn’t usually cover prescription drugs.
Q: What is Medicare Part D?
A: Medicare Part D covers your prescription drugs.
Q: What is Medicare Supplement Insurance or Medigap?
A: Medicare Supplement Insurance is an optional coverage that can help pay for your medical expenses that Medicare Part A & B don’t cover.
Q: How much does Medicare Part A Cost?
A: If you have worked for 10 plus years then you get Medicare Part A at no costs. If you have worked less than 10 years in the US, then you will have a premium.
Q: How much does Medicare Part B Cost?
A: Medicare Part B costs depend on your household gross income; this gets updated each year and will change accordingly.
Q: How much does Medicare Part D Cost?
A: Medicare Part D costs is also based on income. There can be around 20 different plans to choose from.
Q: How much does Medicare Supplement Insurance Cost?
A: Premiums for Medicare Supplement Insurance can vary greatly depending on the company and plan that you go with.
Q: What is the difference between Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage?
A: Medicare Supplement covers the gaps that your regular Medicare doesn’t cover while Medicare Advantage is contracted through private insurance companies that contract with Medicare and they cover additional services not paid by original Medicare.
Q: Can your employer pay for your Medigap plan?
A: If you reject your employer’s group insurance plan to choose Medicare primary, then your they cannot pay for your Medigap. There is one exception under section 105, give us a call so we can explain in greater detail.
Q: Can your employer kick you out of your group health insurance when you turn 65?
A: No, but your employer doesn’t have to provide a retire plan after age 65 or the premium can be different.
Q: If I have employer coverage should I also get Medigap?
A: No, Medigap only covers you if Medicare is your primary insurance.
Q: Can you have private insurance and Medicare?
A: Yes, but there are many factors to consider. Deciding all of these things requires some careful cost analysis between the costs for Medicare and the costs, copays and deductibles of your group coverage. A J&J Medicare Solutions agent can walk through all of this and advise you on the parts you need to consider. If it makes sense for you to stay with your employer coverage, we will be the first to tell you.
Q: What does Independent Insurance Agency mean for me?
A: We are a team of independent agents that allow you to speak with a Medicare expert and compare all your insurance choices in one location.
Q: Do I need Medicare Part B if I have Retiree or COBRA insurance?
A: Part B is optional and not required for you to be enrolled. Although it is important to check how your current insurance will work with Medicare and if additional insurance is needed.
Q: Do I need to change my Medicare after I enroll in it?
A: Insurance companies make changes to their policies every year, so it is always a good idea to go over the changes and if any of your medical requirements have changed.
Q: Is waiting to get Medigap at a later time better?
A: The best time to enroll in Medigap is when you are first eligible since they don’t count any preexisting or current medical conditions against you. If you purchase Medigap at a later time the costs could be significantly higher, or you could be denied since they can count preexisting and current medical conditions against you.
Q: I don’t take prescriptions drugs so why get Medicare Plan D?
A: Unfortunately, medical illness can happen at any time it is better to be covered then be stuck with expensive prescription costs.
Q: Should I wait till I retire to enroll in Medicare?
A: No, retirement age is 66 and going up. It is better to enroll at age 65.
Q: Do I have to wait to change my Medicare Supplement Plan till Annual Election Time?
A: No, you don’t have to wait for the annual election time, you can change anytime.
Q: I haven’t earned the 40 work credits do I still qualify for Medicare?
A: You don’t have to have work credits for Medicare Part B and D, also there are options with premiums depending on how many work credits you have.
Q: Can I have an HSA and Medicare Part A?
A: You can’t contribute to a health savings account if you have signed up for Medicare.
Q: Can I change my Medicare plan during Open Enrollment?
A: Open Enrollment is a great time to evaluate your coverage and potentially change them.
Q: Does Medicare cover everything?
A: Although many services are covered many plans do not cover dental, vision, or hearing.
Q: When should I enroll for Medicare Advantage?
A: You can enroll in Medicare Advantage when you become eligible for Medicare parts A & B. There is also the annual election time during October 15th through December 7th which you can enroll or make changes to your current plan for Medicare Advantage.
Q: Does Medicare Advantage cover prescriptions?
A: Some plans do have prescription coverage, but it is important to make sure you select the right plan since not all plans do cover prescriptions. You also want to make sure you select the plan that covers prescriptions you currently take.
Q: Do I still use my Medicare card if I have Medicare Advantage?
A: No, you only need to present your Medicare Advantage card, but make sure to keep it in a safe place.
Q: Does Medicare Advantage Cover Preventative Care?
A: Yes it will cover any preventative care.
Q: Will my current doctor take Medicare Advantage?
A: Most health care providers do take Medicare Advantage, but it is always important to check with us to make sure your provider does accept Medicare Advantage.
Q: Is Dental & Vision Covered by Medicare Advantage?
A: It is not typically covered but there can be some things covered or options to add on, check with us to see what the right plan would be for you.
Q: Am I covered if I go to the Emergency Room?
A: Yes, You are covered in the event of an emergency. Costs can be different between in-network and out-of-network.
Q: Does Medicare Advantage cover gym memberships?
A: Most plans will include benefits like Silver Sneakers or even some local gyms. Check with us to see if you are covered.
Q: Can I have both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Plans?
A: Unfortunately, No. Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantages are separate plans and you can only have one or the other. Contact our office to get more details on the right plan for you is.