Life goes on, even during this period (and who knows how long it will last?) of social distancing and work-from-home brought on by the now-infamous coronavirus. Those of us born in 1955 are still going to turn 65 this year, coronavirus or not! What to do about it? What has changed, what is new?
Julie Carter recently wrote an enlightening article explaining how those eligible to enroll can do so either by online application, via phone (1-800-772-1213 from 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday), or through the mail. Planning is essential, as it may take the SSA up to 21 days to process a Medicare application.
Medicare Part B. The article also mentions: “People applying for Medicare Part B due to a loss of employment or group health coverage will also need to complete form CMS-L564 (Request for Employment Information). Currently, some beneficiaries are experiencing difficulties gathering this paperwork. SSA seems to recognize these challenges, but clarity is needed on how the agency plans to alleviate this administrative burden during the emergency period.”
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has an FAQ page to answer Coronavirus questions. Read the entire article here »
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older and certain younger people with disabilities and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Medicare will likely cover you for more years than any other medical plan you have ever had.
MEDICARE PARTS: 4+
Parts A and B are considered Original Medicare. Part A is free and Part B has a monthly premium ($104.90 in 2013) which is either deducted from your Social Security check or paid quarterly if not collecting Social Security.
Part A covers hospital benefits and Part B covers physician services, inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, physical and speech therapy, diagnostic tests and durable medical equipment.
Learn more about Supplemental Plans »
||Deducted from SSA check
||Medically-necessary and/or preventive services
||Parts A & B provided by a private insurer
||Optional extra with Part C
||Uncovered expenses, e.g., copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles
To learn more about Medicare in general, we suggest MedicareMadeClear.com or simply contact us.
Most people simply stick with their current coverage. And that’s fine if your current plan gives you the coverage you need at a reasonable cost, covers your medications, and provides access to high-quality care in locations convenient for you.
Questions to ask yourself during Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period:
- Has my health changed in any major way this year?
- Has my financial situation changed in any major way?
- Am I taking any new or different medications?
- Have my premiums increased?
- Have my copayments increased?
- Is my doctor still in the plan?
- Are the medications I’m taking still in the plan?
- Is my preferred pharmacy still in the plan?
If any of your answers cause concern, you should take a look at other plans to see whether they better meet your needs and budget.
Look closely though. For example, if prescription coverage has increased, before you choose another less expensive plan, be sure that plan still covers the medications you take.