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21 Medicare Q&As You Should Know in 2021


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:

  1. Is Medicare state or federal?
  2. Is everyone eligible for Medicare?
  3. How old do you have to be to get Medicare?
  4. How much does Medicare cost at age 65?
  5. Do I need Medicare Part B if I have other insurance?
  6. What age to apply for Medicare?
  7. Do you have to sign up for Medicare at 65 if you are still working?
  8. Why is my first Medicare bill so high?
  9. What is a Medigap plan?
  10. How long is an open enrollment period for Medicare Supplement policies?
  11. What is Medicare Part C?
  12. What drugs are covered under Medicare Part D?
  13. Does Medicare cover a home health aide?
  14. How does secondary insurance work with deductibles?
  15. What is the coverage gap?
  16. Do you automatically get Medicare with Social Security?
  17. Are there Medicare Supplement plans with no premium?
  18. Can Medicare drop you?
  19. Can you have a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan?
  20. Should retired federal employees take Medicare Part B?
  21. What are telemedicine services?

Is Medicare state or federal?

Medicare is a federal program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services run the federal health program. CMS is one branch of Health and Human Services.

Is everyone eligible for Medicare?

No, everyone is not eligible for Medicare. Medicare is available to those over 65 or under 65 on disability for at least 24 months. If you have End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, you can immediately qualify for Medicare.

How old do you have to be to get Medicare?

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.

How much does Medicare cost at age 65?

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.

Do I need Medicare Part B if I have other insurance?

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.

What age to apply for Medicare?

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.

Do you have to sign up for Medicare at 65 if you are still working?

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.

Why is my first Medicare bill so high?

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.

What is a Medigap plan?

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.

How long is an Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement policies?

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.

What is a Medicare Part C Plan?

Medicare Part C is a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans sometime have a $0 per month premiums, and many of them include Part D drug coverage. However, there are some pitfalls to Medicare Advantage plans that you need to know before signing up.

What drugs are covered under Medicare Part D?

There are many drugs covered under Medicare. Plus, every plan must cover the six protected classes. If you have medications that need coverage, use the Medicare plan finder tool to identify the policy that will cover your medications.

Does Medicare cover a home health aide?.

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.

How does secondary insurance work with deductibles?

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.

What is the coverage gap?

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.

Do you automatically get Medicare with Social Security?

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.

Are there Medicare Supplement plans with no premium?

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.

Can Medicare drop you?

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.

Can you have a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan?

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.

Should retired federal employees take Medicare Part B?

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.

What are telemedicine services, and will Medicare cover telehealth?

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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Lindsay Engle

Lindsay Engle is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ. She has been working in the Medicare industry since 2017. She is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare. You can also find her over on our Medicare Channel on YouTube as well as contributing to our Medicare Community on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “21 Medicare Q&As You Should Know in 2021

  1. Hello……I will be turning 65 in July 2021 it will not allow me to do the paper work needed to start medicare….Is it a certain timeframe

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