Medicare questions come up all the time, but finding the answer isn’t always easy. So, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions along with the answers. Also, you’ll discover things about Medicare you didn’t think to ask. To learn more about Medicare in 2021 and get all your questions answered, keep reading.
The Medicare Questions You Need Answers to in 2021:
- Is Medicare state or federal?
- Is everyone eligible for Medicare?
- How old do you have to be to get Medicare?
- How much does Medicare cost at age 65?
- Do I need Medicare Part B if I have other insurance?
- What age to apply for Medicare?
- Do you have to sign up for Medicare at 65 if you are still working?
- Why is my first Medicare bill so high?
- What is a Medigap plan?
- How long is an open enrollment period for Medicare Supplement policies?
- What is Medicare Part C?
- What drugs are covered under Medicare Part D?
- Does Medicare cover a home health aide?
- How does secondary insurance work with deductibles?
- What is the coverage gap?
- Do you automatically get Medicare with Social Security?
- Are there Medicare Supplement plans with no premium?
- Can Medicare drop you?
- Can you have a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan?
- Should retired federal employees take Medicare Part B?
- What are telemedicine services?
Most people are eligible for Medicare at age 65. Those under 65 can qualify for Medicare when they collect Social Security Disability for at least 24 months.
The cost of Medicare depends on many things. Those with a low income will likely pay less than the standard amount and may qualify for Medicare and Medicaid. Those with a higher income will likely pay more for Part B; this is called the Part B Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. Now, Part A of Medicare is free for those that meet the requirements. But, Part B has a premium that usually comes out of your Social Security check. The premium for Part B is $148.50 a month. Yet, those are just the premium costs; some deductibles and coinsurances apply when you only have Medicare.
If you work for a large employer and have employer coverage, you may choose to delay enrollment. When you delay enrollment because you’re delaying retirement, you won’t need to rush to sign up for Part B. Although; you may choose to enroll in Part A, especially since, in many cases, it’s free. Now, if you choose to enroll in Part A, you can no longer contribute to a Health Savings Account. When you retire, you can sign up for Part B and Part A if you chose not to collect before retirement.
For the most part, people sign up for Medicare at age 65. But, some may choose to delay enrollment due to delaying retirement. In contrast, others may enroll before age 65 if they’re on Social Security Disability for at least 24 months.
You should sign up for Medicare at age 65 if you’re working for a small employer (less than 20 employees). But, if you work for a larger employer, you could delay enrollment. Of course, Medicare isn’t mandatory, so you can choose whichever option makes the most sense for your situation. You can also always consult your benefits administrator at the office where you work to identify your options.
So, if you’re not accepting Social Security income, Medicare will bill you for 4 months of premiums. Unless, of course, you sign up for Medicare Easy Pay, you can choose to pay premiums monthly using a check, bank draft, credit, or debit card.
A Medigap plan is a supplemental option for Medicare. Medigap plans are also Medicare Supplement plans; these policies fill the gaps in Medicare. So, when Medicare would otherwise charge you 20% or a deductible, the Medicare Supplement could instead pick up the bill.
You can pre-enroll in Medigap up to 6 months before the Part B effective date with some companies. But, many companies only allow you to pre-enroll 3 months before Part B effective date. The Open Enrollment Period for Medigap lasts for 6 months and begins the day your Part B is effective.
Medicare will cover intermittent or part-time skilled nursing care. If you need long term care or a caregiver for personal care assistance, you would be on your own when it comes to the costs.
If you have small employer group health insurance (less than 20 employees), Medicare will be secondary. In this case, if the group policy has a deductible, Medicare may pay a portion of the deductible. It’s best to discuss your coverage with your benefits administrator to determine how your policy will work with Medicare.
The coverage gap is the Part D donut hole. During this time, beneficiaries pay 25% of medications’ costs until total drug costs reach $6,550.
If you’re on Social Security, you’ll have automatic enrollment into Medicare at age 65. But, if you’re on Social Security Disability, you can get Medicare after 24 months.
Medicare Supplements have a premium because they offer comprehensive benefits. If you’re hospitalized or in need of major treatment, Medigap will cover the costs that Medicare would leave you to pay.
No, Medicare can’t drop you. But, if you don’t pay the premium on a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan, they can drop you. Also, if you don’t pay your Part D premium, the drug plan can drop you. Usually, they give multiple notices before the plan terminates your policy.
No, you can’t have both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medigap plan. You have to choose one or the other. Since Medicare Advantage plans handle your claims instead of Medicare, the Medigap plan can’t coordinate benefits with Part C. If you have both, the Medicare Advantage plan will cover you, but the Medigap plan won’t. Basically, you’re wasting money on Medigap at that point. If you can’t decide between the two, work with an agent near you to determine which option really makes the most sense.
The decision to take Part B with Federal Employee Health Benefits is a personal choice. If you don’t enroll in Part B, the FEHB plan will pay primary. But, if you do enroll in Part B, Medicare will be primary.
Telemedicine services can include telephone appointments and virtual appointments. In general, telemedicine is a remote clinical service. Medicare Part B will cover telehealth services.
How to Find Answers to All Your Medicare Questions
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Fill out an online rate form to see your rates now. Or, call us at the number above to get answers to your Medicare questions. We can even walk you through enrolling in a policy.