Medicare Crash Course
If you’re nearing the age 65 or older, you have more than likely been receiving a lot of information regarding Medicare and Open Enrollment. This government-sponsored program provides some medical coverage for the older members of our society. You can also utilize private plans to help cover what other plans do not. Retirees need to understand the different plans to decide which plan or combination of plans best meets their needs.
Original Medicare is composed of Parts A and B. Often referred to as hospital insurance, Part A is one of the plans that are free to those that have paid into Medicare during their working years. This covers your nursing care and hospital stays. Part B is referred to as medical insurance. Part B covers various services including x-rays, lab testing, rehabilitation therapy, medical equipment, and a variety of other medical services. One very important feature with Part B is the lifetime penalty that you must pay if you delay enrollment when you initially sign up for Medicare. Original Medicare covers around half of your medical expenses, so it is important to have additional coverage to avoid paying out-of-pocket. This is why Medicare Advantage was formed.
Medicare Advantage, referred to as Part C or Medicare Health Plan covers additional medical services such as dental and vision. In order to enroll in Part C, you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare. Part C is offered through private insurance companies while Original Medicare is sponsored by the federal government. AARP states, “Medicare Advantage plans are generally organized as health maintenance organizations (HMOs) or preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Typically, in these types of plans, you choose one doctor as your primary care provider, and your choice of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers is restricted.” While Part C covers many expenses, Part D is used to compensate for what Part C may not cover.
Part D can be utilized to help cover prescription drug expenses. Like Medicare Advantage, you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare before signing up for this service. Part D plans are sponsored by private insurance companies and often requires a monthly premium to be paid. Since each plan has different provisions, it is important to do your research to ensure your plan meets your needs.
Medicare can be difficult to navigate. Our advisor here at Southern Point can help assess your needs, assist in the enrollment, and provide guidance throughout the process. If you’re ready to sign up for Medicare, call our office at (229) 245-6022 to set up an appointment