What is the difference between a Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plan?

A Medicare Supplement works as a secondary insurance to you primary Medicare insurance. A Medicare Advantage Plan replaces your Medicare as a privatized primary insurance run through a Medicare approved format.

How much will Medicare cost me?

Typically, Medicare Part A is covered by SSI for you and Medicare Part A is $144.60 per month. A Medicare Part D, used to cover prescriptions, is on average $23 a month and a Medigap plan can range from $0 to on average $150 monthly.

How do I sign up for Medicare?

To sign up for Medicare, please visit www.colonelpenny.com

When do I sign up for Medicare?

Typically, you should send in your Medicare and Social Security applications three months before you want them to become active. You can do this at 64 -75 years old or if you are still working wait for the three months prior to retirement.

Do I have to sign up for Medicare?

No. However, while you will be signed up for Medicare Part A automatically, Part B requires action on your part. If you choose not to sign up for Medicare’s Part B or D you will begin accruing a penalty that will be paid monthly for as long as you have Part B and D after signing up. Most private coverages will not cover individuals eligible for Medicare after 65 years of age.

How do I compare Part D plans?

Through our site www.colonelpenny.com you can compare all of the plans in your area based on the costs per plan and your cost per prescription currently taking. You should always filter the resulting plans by annual cost so that the least expensive plan all costs included is filed at the top of the options page.

What is Medicare Part C? Do I have to sign up for it?

Medicare Part C is another name for a Medicare Advantage Plan. This is NOT a required part of Medicare but actually a replacement for Medicare as your primary coverage. A Medicare Advantage plan will help to minimalize your out of pocket costs for medical services by providing you with a Medicare approved PPO or HOM.

Who offers the best Medigap plan?

Medigap often refers to Medicare Supplements. All Supplements work as secondary coverage to the primary Medicare coverage and are ranked in coverage level by Plan Letters, such as Plan G. All Supplements are identical across all companies within each Plan Letter. There is no better carrier than another as they are all required to offer the same coverage. the only variable is the monthly premium you pay for that coverage.

What is the best Medigap plan?

Medicare Supplement plan selection depends on your current or anticipated coverage needs, as well as, your financial situation. Plan G, for example, is the highest level of coverage for those turning 65 in 2020. Plan G offers full medical coverage after a $198 annual deductible is met. On the other hand, a Plan N offers coverage for an identical deductible and $20 copay for office visits. Comparatively, the Plan G will have a higher monthly premium than the Plan N, however, the Plan N has a higher out of pocket cost risk.

How does a Medigap plan work?

When you see a doctor and use your Medicare as primary coverage and then you Medicare Supplement as secondary coverage, the doctor’s office will bill Medicare directly for your services. Medicare will pay their 80% and then send the bill for the reminder to your Medicare Supplement for you. From there, the Medicare Supplement carrier will pay their portion and send you a report of what you may owe to the doctor’s office (in the case of a deductible or copayment needed).

Where can I use my Medigap plan?

Medicare Supplements are required to be accepted by all providers that accept Medicare. It does not matter what Plan Letter you have or what carrier you purchased your Plan through, every doctor taking Medicare must accept your Supplement Plan.

What is the difference between a Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plan?

A Medicare Supplement works as a secondary insurance to you primary Medicare insurance. A Medicare Advantage Plan replaces your Medicare as a privatized primary insurance run through a Medicare approved format. 

How does a Medicare Advantage plan work?

A Medicare Advantage Plan is very similar to insurance while working or through the healthcare marketplace for those under 65. Your options will be offered as a PPO or HOM.

When can I change my supplemental Medicare coverage?

Medicare Supplements can be changed any time of the year with medical underwriting. A Medicare Advantage Plan, on the other hand, can only be left under certain guaranteed issue options or can be changed for the following year beginning in January during AEP. AEP (annual election period) is October 15th through December 7th.

Does Medicare cover dental?

Medicare Part A  will pay for certain dental services that you get when you`re in a hospital. Part A can pay for hospital stays if you need to have emergency or complicated dental procedures, even though it doesn`t cover dental care.

Does Medicare cover vision?

Medicare covers cataract removal as well other medical conditions with the eye. Some Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.

Can I get other coverage for dental, vision, and hearing?

Yes. Many carriers like BCBS, Aetna, Manhattan Life and others offer some bundles for dental, vision, and hearing. Some Medicare Advantage Plans have those basic coverages built into their PPO or HMO. 

What can I do if my drugs are too expensive even with Medicare Part D?

Some individuals ask drug manufactures directly for discounts, use online coupons, or order from other sources like Canada and Mexico.

Does Medicare cover preventative services?

Yes. Medicare does cover most preventative services. However, you should still consider gap coverage for those uncovered or unforeseen costs. For example, when you receive a colonoscopy, most people prefer to be anesthetized rather than awake for the procedure. While the colonoscopy procedure will be covered the anesthesia will not be fully covered leaving you part of the service charges.

Why do I have to answer medical questions when signing up for a Medicare Supplement?

After you initially enroll in Medicare and take a Medicare Supplement, the only reason to change that Medicare Supplement is for a lower premium or change in Plan Letter and overall coverage. Since changing your supplement due to cost is a personal preference, the carriers of Medicare Supplements reserve the right to deny coverage and so ask medical questions to help mitigate their own potential costs for covering a new individual.

What if I never worked in the US?

Many individuals qualify for Medicare through the work history and social security taxes paid by their spouses or ex-spouses. If you are new to the US you may purchase Medicare Parts A and B for a monthly premium.

Are there options to help cover or lower the costs of Medicare?

Yes. Being on Medicare does not disqualify you for applying for Medicaid or “extra help.”

What if I still have dependents who need health coverage?

Leaving dependents uncovered by switching to Medicare should always be considered carefully, especially, if the Medicare eligible individual is still working and has the choice to keep their employer provided coverage.

Can I keep working while on Medicare?

Yes. There are earnings caps and requirements placed on those still working that will affect your social security earnings but not your Medicare eligibility.

Do I have to sign up for Medicare every year?

No. Medicare has an annual auto renewal process that applies to all Medicare enrollees. It is the same for Medicare Supplements but NOT so for Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Part D.