What you need to know about Medicare
Are you turning 65 and ready to learn about Medicare? Congratulations on hitting a major birthday milestone, and welcome to the world of Medicare! Or are you not-so-new to Medicare and looking for a refresher? All the information you’re receiving about Medicare can be a little overwhelming, so here’s our quick guide for what you need to know.
Start looking into Medicare early
There are many changes that come with turning 65, and early planning will make the transition smoother! Your first-time enrollment period when you turn 65 runs for 90 days before and 90 days after your birthday. Village Health Partners suggests exploring your Medicare options six months before your birthday to give you all the time you need to get the questions you have answered.
If you're already on a Medicare plan, the Annual Enrollment Period runs October 15 through December 7. This is the perfect time to assess if your plan is working for you and what your healthcare needs are for 2021.
Does your doctor accept Medicare?
Your Village Health Partners provider wants to continue seeing you, and an important factor in choosing your plan is finding out what plans your current physician accepts! Being able to continue your relationship with your primary care doctor is extremely valuable, so it’s important to make sure you have an insurance plan that is in-network. To see what insurance plans your family practice physician accepts, click here.
What happens if you missed your enrollment period?
If the three months following your birthday have already passed, don’t worry! Medicare Annual Enrollment period is happening now and runs October 15 through December 7. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you have an additional open enrollment period that allows you to switch between Medicare Advantage plans from January 1 through March 31.
The different parts of Medicare
Trying to learn the ABC’s (and D) of Medicare can be confusing. Here’s what each part means for your overall healthcare coverage.
Original Medicare (Parts A + B):
Part A – This is the most basic coverage you can get and is required by law (but can be covered through private options as well).
The good news is that this is a free healthcare plan if you or your spouse paid Medicare payroll taxes for at least 10 years! However, Part A does not provide much coverage and mostly covers hospital stays.
Part B – Part B is a supplemental plan and in order to have Part B Medicare coverage, you need to have Part A coverage first. Part B covers some doctor visits and diagnostic screenings. This part comes with monthly premiums and can have co-payments, out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles.
Medicare Drug Coverage
Part D – Part D is supplemental prescription drug coverage. In order to add this part, you have to first have Parts A and B. Part D can also have monthly premiums, co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles on top of the Part B expenses.
Part C – Medicare Advantage plans are private supplemental coverage. When you opt into a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan pays for the Parts A and B coverage so you don’t have to pay for it separately! This plan is essentially an all-in-one plan and covers everything from Parts A and B and includes prescription drug coverage (similar to Part D), gym memberships, dental and vision care, hearing aids and more. Monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage plans can be little-to-no cost to you.
If you want to see a comparison of the different parts of Medicare, click here.
Village Health Partners encourages you to explore all your plan options and to consider plans that support your whole-person wellness and help you live a healthier life.
If you want information about your plan options for next year, you can visit Medicare.gov or click below to learn about 2021 accepted plans and schedule an informational meeting.