Congratulations, as you turn 65 and are eligible for Medicare Supplement Plans 2018. Your monthly benefits from the Federal Government include social security as well as deductions for Part A and B of Medicare. Below we will give you a brief synopsis and guide you through the first steps of understanding the Medicare options available to you. Under no circumstances is this thorough review. In order to completely understand the benefits, you will receive under Medicare, read the comprehensive brochure for seniors “Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare”.
Original Medicare parts A & B
As we know it, there are 3 parts to Medicare-Part A, B and D. Managed by the Federal Government, Part A (hospital insurance) covers inpatient hospital costs and helps cover skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and some home health care costs. Medicare Part B covers physicians and services, outpatient care and some preventative services to help maintain your health when you are ill. The premium for Part A is over $400.00 per month and unless you are disabled or have survivor benefits from a spouse who was covered by Social Security, these costs are the same for everyone and part of the benefit. Part B premium starts at $96.40 (may cost more depending on your annual income) and is withdrawn directly from your social security check. You can opt out of Part B coverage if you choose. Both A (hospital benefits) & B (Physician and medical benefits) have deductibles, co-insurance/co-payments, and maximum benefits with extra lifetime reserve days. There are gaps in the government plan and payments you will be directly responsible to pay. Selecting a supplemental plan from a private insurer can cover part of these gaps.
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)
Section D, added to law effective January 1, 2006, was enacted under the Bush administration and is funded with taxpayer dollars. If you are new to Medicare, you may select a separate plan for drugs. There are two ways to buy a Drug plan-as part of a Medicare Advantage Plan or a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Since Part D provides basic coverage’s with large deductibles and co-payments, besides premium differences, these drug supplemental policies must offer Formulary or Generic Drugs in every category of treatment. Deciding which drug plan is best for you may be challenging. Knowing your drugs and dosages before selecting the plan is helpful. For approved drug plans check out the department of insurance site in your state.