You’ve probably seen the commercials with the legendary quarterback, Joe Namath or Tom Selleck and William Shatner (Captain Kirk). They are selling Medicare Advantage plans letting us know that now, October 15th through December 7th is open enrollment season. So, what is a Medicare Advantage plan and should you get one?
On today’s show, we are going to discuss Medicare with expert Ray Martin. This will be our 2nd annual show with Ray. We will be covering the different types of plans, premiums, and tips you should be aware of as you reach age 65 and beyond.
Medicare is great for retirees but it can be confusing to navigate. Ray Martin joins us today, the author of The Nuts andBolts of Medicare, to explain the basics of Medicare and open enrollment.
Signed into law in 1965, around 10,000 baby boomers join Medicare every day. Through the years Medicare has expanded into a comprehensive and successful medical plan. There are now multiple parts of Medicare including Medicare supplements.
What is Medicare “A” and “B”? These are the original foundational parts of Medicare. “A” will cover your hospitalizations, even elective surgeries. You are paying for part “A” through your working years. How much they take out of every paycheck depends on your pay.
“B” is going to cover your doctor visits, specialist appointments, lab tests, physical therapy, and more. You’ll pay a monthly premium for this plan and it’s usually around $170 per month. Believe it or not next year in 2023, the premium is going DOWN to $165. I can’t think of many things that have come down in price over the past year. Certainly, we will all accept the relief. However, the premium could be much higher for higher-income earners.
Part “B” is going to cover about 80% of your medical costs. These general parts of Medicare cover a lot of medical costs, but there are gaps that can lead to big financial bills if you are not careful. That’s where supplemental coverage can come into use.
What they call “Medigap” are supplemental plans that can help cover gaps in your basic Medicare plan.
The other option is what Broadway Joe, Tom Selleck and Captain Kirk are pitching – Medicare Advantage. When you sign up for an advantage plan you are signing over your Medicare benefits to the insurance company. In exchange for the plan, you will get coverage through an insurer like Humana (For example). You’ll want to do your research and make sure this type of coverage can support you and where you would like to receive healthcare in the future. Always get and read over your summary of benefits!
Part D is the newest section of Medicare. It’s critical to be sure to match the plan to your specific situation, particularly the medications that you need.