Attention 65 year olds signing up for Medicare. Make sure you choose options wisely according to CBS Money Watch.
Obamacare plans are expensive and often confusing, but Medicare is much more straight forward, providing you know the rules.
You have a seven-month to sign up for Medicare. It begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65 and ends three months after that month.
Once you sign up, you will find out about a few options.
Medicare Advantage plans – These are plans that offer Medicare benefits, and may be a replacement for Medicare. These plans are offered by major insurers, but be careful. Often, the plans sound better than they actually are and they will limit your choices of provider, a big concern for snow birds, who live north in the summer and south in the winter. Some of these plans may require referrals for many specialist services.
Medicare – Medicare has a low deductible of under $200 annually and then covers 80% of the costs for most medical services. Chiropractic is very limited under Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, however the profession has been lobbying to change this, since many seniors in a previous study that looked at utilization rates when chiropractic was fully covered and it was found that many people simply went to chiropractors instead of therapists. Medicare is available across state lines and most physicians as well as hospitals participate in the plan. This is the best option for anyone who travels out of state.
Medigap. These are plans offered by major insurance carriers that will pay the deductible and copayment of Medicare. These add on plans are quite popular. The plans cover whatever Medicare covered. If Medicare does not cover a service, neither does the Medigap plan.
Roll over through Medicare – Medicare will bill secondary carriers automatically, eliminating extra work for you and your doctor. Be sure to let Medicare know what you other insurer is.
Which should you choose? If you want to avoid nasty surprises, Medicare is your best option while Advantage plans allow you private insurance which may seem to offer a better option. Be careful because often Advantage plans have restrictions and they cover exactly what Medicare does, with smaller networks of providers.
You can read more about this through this excellent article
Turning 65? Beware of Medicare traps for the unwary
Many people celebrate turning 65 because that makes them eligible for Medicare, and they anticipate enjoying a reduction in their health care costs — both for insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. While these desirable outcomes might happen, it pays to look ahead and consider the possible long-term consequences of the decisions you”™ll be making when you reach age 65.
7 costly Medicare mistakes to avoid
In some circumstances, the choices you make now could close off potential choices you might want to make in the future.
Your first decision
You have a seven-month initial enrollment period to sign up for Medicare. It begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65 and ends three months after that month.
You have two basic choices when enrolling:
Traditional, or original Medicare. With this option, Medical care is provided on a fee-for-service basis, and you can choose your medical providers, as long as they accept Medicare patients.
Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. With this option, you typically receive medical services through a medical provider network, similar to an HMO or PPO.
Many people who choose original Medicare also purchase a supplemental plan called Medigap to help pay for Medicare deductibles and co-payments. Because traditional Medicare doesn”™t pay for prescription drugs, you”™ll also need to purchase a second, separate plan under Medicare”™s Part D. Both Medigap and Part D plans require additional monthly premiums.
MA plans typically provide more comprehensive coverage than traditional Medicare, so there”™s usually no need to purchase a supplemental Medigap plan. Most MA plans also cover prescription drugs, so you only need to buy coverage from one health care provider to cover all your costs.