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I Am About To Sign Up For Medicare?

Insurance & Special Deals for Seniors

I Am About To Sign Up For Medicare?

Postby Philipos » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:40 pm

Hopefully, you have already accessed the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) website Medicare.gov. This provides basic information that you will want to know. And yes, you will need to sign up for Medicare at your local Social Security Office.

That being said, there is no getting around the fact that Medicare questions can be confusing! Choosing between traditional Medicare and the new "Medicare HMO-type" plans is one of the first choices you will get to make. If you choose traditional Medicare--which I personally favor as an option-- then you will get to choose to sign up for "supplemental" Medicare insurance and Medicare Part D--the part of Medicare that pays for certain prescription drugs. Getting the best supplemental coverage and/or a a Medicare Part D plan, for example, depends on several factors, including what kinds of prescription drugs you take, what kind of plan you are willing to accept, and whether the plan will pay for the specific prescription drugs you need. It is absolutely very helpful if you have a list of your medications, frequency and dosages. You will also need the name of your pharmacy that you do business with and the pharmacy's phone number. It is advisable to call the pharmacy directly about the plans they accepts, as some of the information that appears on the CMS website has not always proven to be reliable. You will need to know what Medicare Part D plans your preferred pharmacy accepts. You will want to know that the drugs you need are covered by the Medicare Part D plan's formulary before you sign up.

Unlike Medicare Part D plans, Medicare supplemental plans and options are standardized, however interpreting these benefits can still be very confusing!

If you are considering enrolling in a "managed care plan" --usually called something like "Medicare Advantage," you will for sure want to read the fine print. For example, if you like to travel, will this plan cover you if you should become ill in another state or country? What are other advantages or disadvantages to enrolling in such a plan as to enrolling in "traditional Medicare?" If you like your current physician, is this professional participating in the particular HMO plan? Will you be able to switch back to traditional Medicare if you do not like the health services you are receiving from the HMO group?

Before you make the trip to the Social Security office, you might want to stop in to visit with the folks at your local Area Agency on Aging. There you will find "real people" who will listen carefully to your questions and who aren't "selling anything" or pushing any particular agenda.
I would highly recommend that you call your local Area Agency on Aging. Folks at the Area Agency on Aging can help you sort through Medicare options and choices. Area Agencies on Aging are one of the best kept secrets around for older Americans and their families who are seeking information on Medicare, Medicare supplemental policies, Medicare Part D and other kinds of consumer questions. There is one where you live, since this is a national network. The staff there will visit with you and guide you to information you need to answer your question. Since they talk with seniors every day--and answer lots of questions--they will know the "scoop" on Medicare and Medicare issues and plans available where you live. If you have already selected a couple plan options that you are most interested in, they will be able to help you compare the pros and the cons of the plans and suggest other information to check out before you "sign on the dotted line."

You can call toll-free 1-800-677-1116 to find how to contact the Area Agency serving you. When you call your local Area Agency on Aging, ask for the staff who provide "Information and Assistance about Medicare."

You should also know that Area Agencies on Aging have information and sponsor services available for older Americans and their caregivers. I know your focus is on Medicare enrollment, yet, connecting with your Area Agency on Aging will provide other helpful tools that you may find very helpful in the future.

Be forewarned, there are many companies and agents pushing their particular Medicare plan--this is particularly true of the HMO plans that are being marketed. Be sure to check out all the facts and never feel obligated or pressured to sign anything unless you are absolutely certain this is the plan you want to accept. Again, it is important to know that Area Agencies on Aging are not selling any particular service, product or insurance plan. The information you will learn will be objective in this regard.

If you do contact your local Area Agency on Aging and like the help that they give you, let your local county officials and your folks in Congress know. Area Agencies on Aging don't have big budgets--their funding comes from the Older Americans Act--and funding for most parts of this Act has not increased significantly in about 25 years! Your voluntary financial contribution of any amount--which is not required to get the help you need to answer this question--would certainly be appreciated and would be used to help your older friends and neighbors.

(Another source of information about current issues related to Medicare you might want to check out is the website for the Medicare Rights Center.)

Hope this helps! Best wishes and good luck as you make your Medicare choices!
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:24 am

I Am About To Sign Up For Medicare?

Postby Drygedene » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:27 am

There is only one medicare I would suggest you sign up for that one at a social security office.
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:30 am

I Am About To Sign Up For Medicare?

Postby Shen » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:28 pm

You cannot enroll in Medicare until you are within 90 days of turning 65. If you dont sign up within a certain time after your 65th birthday you pay a 10% surcharge every month on what your Part B premium would otherwise be.
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:18 pm

I Am About To Sign Up For Medicare?

Postby Manville » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:01 am

Sometimes the biggest difference in plans is how much you'll be paying for medication. There can be $2500 difference between plans. I had one lady whose medication cost were $4300 per year on the best plan and $50,125 on another but this was an extreme case. You'll want to visit a local independent agent who deals in all plans available and can do an analysis of your prescriptions.

Once the analysis is done you can then compare the top 5 or 6 plans. All plans have to cover what Medicare says they have to cover but most add increased coverage, you need to find the plan that fits you best. This is where the agent can help. They don't charge you anything for the service.
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:40 pm

I Am About To Sign Up For Medicare?

Postby Zdenek » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:07 pm

If you are eligible for Social Security, you can automatically get Medicare, Part A. Part A takes care of hospitals

You get to pay for Part B.
Part B takes care of physicians, outpatient care, and durable medical equipment

Part D takes care of prescription drugs. You need to enroll in a special program for that.

If you are going to keep another plan (I have a BCBS plan in addition to Medicare), you probably will end up having to pay very little for doctors, etc. You will have to pay something for drugs and this could mean that Part D is needed.

You need to do some research on exactly what will be covered, and whether or not you need some additional coverage (I would guess that you should have it).

And you need to know that many doctors will NOT take medicare. So far, I have had to get a new endocrinologist and a new gynecologist. And I have just been under medicare for a short while.
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:28 pm

I Am About To Sign Up For Medicare?

Postby Toryn » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:17 am

See the section that says Learn More About Plans in Your Area, enter your state, and go from there...
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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:14 am

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