I've received more than one letter stating that I'll qualify for Social Security and Medicare...
So? What's Next?
Well, this United Health Care company or group invited me to learn the basics about Medicare......and most likely a sales pitch at the end.
Of course, they say this course is FREE.
UH-OH!.....they said the magic word....FREE!
I went on and attended this one hour class and it was an eye opener. So without further ado...here is the basics.
First....I'm currently 64 years old and my 65th birthday happens in September. (remember this reference)....because one day it will apply to you.
when to register???
I have 7 months to apply for Medicare....meaning, I have 3 months PRIOR to the month I was born to 3 months AFTER I was born.
This is called, The Initial Enrollment Period
one important note: If you do not apply, you'll will be penalized! And it will hurt you financially.
Then you have the Annual Enrollment Period
this usually runs from October 15th to December 7th.
It's this time of the year you'll have the opportunity to change Supplemental or Advantage plans.
And Last, Special Enrollment.....this occurs for example, when you move from one state to another state. Once you arrive at your new residence, apply there ASAP!
Be at least 65 years old
and have at least 10 years of full time work(paying into the system).
There are others, but they don't apply to me.
Now the parts:
....in other words, any treatment that happens within a hospital.
any medical treatment that happens in doctor offices, clinics,...basically, outside of the hospital.
One major note: You have to have drug coverage, no way around it! And it runs in Tiers,
like, Tier one, Tier two, etc. till you reach Tier 5.
Each Tier plan are individual and each has its own costs.
Tier one is the least cost....the down-side the quantity of drugs is limited.
On the other end of this is Tier 5....highest cost with the widest variety. (like cancer drugs for example)
Part C.....Advantage Plans
These plans are run by private companies, like Blue Cross-Blue Shield, UnitedHealthCare, Humana, etc. etc.
These plans are designed to cover deductables, out-of-pocket expenses, co-pay, urgent care, emergencies, etc.
AND THERE IS A PREMIUM.
TO BE CONTINUED....
Let's talk about, Part A costs.
Is there a cost for hospitalization?.........the answer is, YES!
If you are admitted to a hospital, your deductible is.....
what is a deductible?
_(in an insurance policy) a specified amount of money that the insured must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim.
So, the amount you pay before the insurance(or medicare) pays the rest is......$1,332.00.......for the first 60 days!
after that its $300.00 flat rate if more than 60 days. That's after you spent 60 days in the hospital.
of course, if you have ALSO an Advantage plan or a Supplemental Plan (Part C)....they would pick up the deductible. BUT REMEMBER, you have to pay them a monthly premium around $40.00. and different policies vary.
If I choose to continue to work past 65 and my work provides medical insurance....CAN I HAVE BOTH?
In other words, can I have my work medical insurance AND Medicare?
The answer is.....NO! You can have one but not the other.....but its not the full answer.....and I'll try to explain in my own words.
I have a job that provides medical insurance and I rather keep it. During my Initial Enrollment Period.....I'll contact the SSN office......they'll set up an TELEPHONE appointment or you can go to the Social Security Office to set it up. Either way you'll have to answer a bunch of questions to determine your eligibility.
bottom line.....I still have to sign up for MEDICARE...BUT.....only PART A....... and NOT Part B or Part D.
and the cost is ZERO for Part A.
My medical(B) and drugs(D)....will be covered by my employers insurance.
Lets say, I decide to retire at the age of 67.....its then that I'll call and inform (SSN) Social Security that I've retired from work and that's when Part B and C and D get started.Special Enrollment, remember that?
Is it clear as mud now?
Let's discuss Part B costs.
Sorry, Medicare ain't free!
For you to have Part B Medical......it will cost you, $121.00 a month
For you to have Part D Drugs.....$40.00 a month. (average)
so we come to a total of $161.00 a month.
how about those deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket, etc.?
Well, you can pay it yourself or opt for a Private Supplement Plan.
Let's say the Cadillac Plan.....this plan covers everything.
$140.00 a month
so you have the Plan B.....121 bucks
and you have the Plan D.....40 bucks
and the Supplemental Caddy...140 bucks
Hey that's 301 bucks a month!
BUT wait, wait.....some more mud to throw on!
During your working career....if you earn more than $82,000 a year....then you pay a little more per month.
if you were near, at, or below the poverty level....that's when Medicaid kicks in. And you'll most likely pay ZERO out of pocket.
important side note:
MEDICARE....is a Federal Program
MEDICAID....is a STATE level Program
and some states covers better than others....example, State of Massachusetts will cover more medical conditions than Mississippi or Alabama.
there, clear as mud!
good luck to ya'
for more info, official that is, go to: