|Is Medicare supplement Plan F right for you?
What is Medicare?
Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Some people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare too if they have certain disabilities. The program helps with the cost of health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. Medicare is financed by a portion of the payroll taxes you and or your spouse and the employer paid while you and or your spouse worked. It is also financed in part by monthly premiums deducted from Social Security checks. To learn more about what is Medicare you can click here to go to the Government Medicare website.
When Should I Apply for Medicare?
Many people turning 65 often wonder when they should apply for Medicare? If you are already getting Social Security retirement, disability benefits, or railroad retirement you will be contacted a few months before you become eligible and should not have to apply for Medicare. You will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning Part B down.
If you are not already getting retirement benefits you should contact Social Security about three months before your 65th birthday to sign up for Medicare. You can sign up for Medicare even if you do not plan to retire at age 65. Click here to go to the Social Security online Retirement/Medicare application.
Once you are enrolled in Medicare, you will receive a red, white and blue Medicare card showing whether you have Part A, Part B or both. Keep your card in a safe place so you will have it when you need it. If your card is ever lost, stolen, or destroyed you can apply for a replacement card on the Social Security Internet web site at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicarecard or call Social Security’s toll-free number 1-800-772-1213.
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Medicare Part A covers part of your medical bills once you have been admitted to a hospital, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and some home health care.
- Covers hospital room and board
- Impatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long term care)
- Home Health care
You pay (2012): The per incident period (not per year) deductible for Medicare Part A of $1156, $289 per day for days 61-90 hospital room and board, $578 per day after 90 days (up to a maximum of 60 days over your lifetime), $144.50 per day for skilled nursing facility for days 21-100 and all cost thereafter.
Medicare Part B (Doctor Insurance)
Medicare Part B covers part of your medical bills for doctor services, some preventive services and various medical services and supplies that are not covered by Medicare Part A. If you have Medicare Part B you will pay a premium each month out of your Social security benefits.
- Covers Medicare-eligible Doctor’s services
- Outpatient Hospital services
- Durable Medical equipment
- Preventive services — Healthcare to prevent illnesses or detect them at an early stage when treatment often works best. Click here for a list of preventive services available at Medicare.gov.
You pay (2012): The yearly deductible of $140, the costs for the first 3 units of blood, 20% for durable medical equipment, 20% for doctor services to include doctor service while as a hospital patient, 40% outpatient mental health care, any excess charges (some doctors can charge up to 15% above what Medicare authorizes)
With Medicare It is important for you to understand that Medicare does not cover everything, and it does not pay the total cost for most services or supplies that are covered.
Why do I need a Medicare supplement? Even though Medicare will cover a large portion of your Medical expenses there are many gaps left for you to pay. These gaps can easily deplete a person’s financial resources when they are on a set budget. A Medicare supplemental insurance policy can cover most or all of the Medicare cost and they are very affordable for most people. A majority of people turning 65 can find insurance in the $95 to $150 price range that will cover all the deductibles and co-payments. When turning 65 there is no underwriting and all Medicare supplement policies are guaranteed renewable.
Applying for Medicare supplement insurance
The process you go through when applying for Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance is relatively easy. You will want to get quotes from an independent agency like us. We are not biased toward any particular insurance company. This means we will simply pull quotes from the insurance companies available in your area so you can see who has the best deal. The applications are not very long, but some people do have trouble with them. If you have problems your insurance agent will help you with the application.
Generally it takes at least two weeks for a Medicare supplement application to be processed and sometimes longer so don’t wait till the last minute. If you are turning 65 then two – three months out from your 65th birth month is the optimal time to get this taken care of.
Medicare supplement plans
Medicare supplement insurance plans are offered by private insurance companies. The federal government has standardized these plans. This means all plans identified by the same letter provide the exact same coverage regardless of which insurance company you use. Medicare supplement plans are lettered A through N and the plans E, H, I, and J are no longer used. Nationwide three of the most popular plans are F, G, and N.
Medicare supplement plan F: This is the most common and comprehensive plan. It covers all the gaps left in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
Medicare supplement plan G: This plan is almost the same as plan F with the exception of not paying the yearly Medicare Part B deductible. For many this plan is often the best choice if you don’t mind paying the yearly deductible as opposed to the higher monthly premiums for plan F.
Medicare supplement plan N: Unlike plan F this plan has some cost-sharing ($20 doctor’s office co-pay and $50 emergency room co-pay in 2011) in exchange for lower monthly premiums. It is designed as an alternative to Medicare Advantage plans, while still giving you the flexibility and stability of a Medigap plan. This plan also does not cover excess charges.
There are many insurance companies offering Medicare supplement plans and the prices can vary wildly from company to company. Many people who do not utilize the services of an independent agent end up paying over 40-50% more a month for their insurance! It is a shame because getting your Medigap insurance through us cost you absolutely nothing.
Click here to see the Medicare supplement plans chart
You can request Medicare supplement quotes now by clicking here and filling out a simple form. An agent will look up the rates based off of the information you provide and send the quotes to you by email.
Hello! My name is Sergeant First Class (retired) Joel Moyer, an owner and independent agent for Centaur Medicare Solutions LLC. I served our country in the US Army for over twenty years, and I look forward to serving you.
Centaur Medicare Solutions is a Limited Liability Company specializing in Medicare Supplement Insurance and Term Life Insurance. We provide our customers with an independent agent dedicated to finding the best services for that customer.
Centaur Medicare Solutions prides itself on being an ethical agency obligated to recommend products that best meet your needs, goals and financial resources. Our desire is to act as an adviser, letting you take your time to make decisions about purchases and answer any questions that you may have. Selling the right product, to the right person, at the right time is our priority. Thank you for visiting our website.