More than 1.5 million Virginians receive their health insurance benefits through Medicare. Over the years, this government-supported program has grown to offer numerous benefits in multiple shapes and sizes to millions of Americans.
To get the Medicare benefits that are right for you, you’ll often need to buy a combination of both publicly funded and private insurance options. It’s understandable why you might not realize what plan options are best for you. When you choose the experts at InsurePro, LLC as your Medicare enrollment guides, we’ll happily walk you through the process of applying for the perfect benefits package.
If you are ready to optimize your Medicare enrollment, then we are ready to help. All you have to do is call (800) 697-8109 or request your instant quote online.
The Medicare program was started by the United States government more than 50 years ago. It was designed to provide taxpayer-supported health insurance benefits to senior citizens, retirees, or people with chronic illnesses or disabilities who would struggle to obtain health insurance otherwise.
Over the years, Medicare has changed considerably and now encompasses a multitude of benefits provided by the government and by major insurers. Depending on your health insurance needs and other qualifications, you will likely need several of these benefits to achieve optimized coverage.
There are numerous policies under the Medicare Umbrella. These generally fall into four categories:
1. Original Medicare
As its name suggests, Original Medicare is the standard coverage that nearly all Americans qualify for at some point in their life. It contains two types of coverage: Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
Part A coverage pays for hospital benefits when you receive inpatient care. It can also cover care received in nursing homes or similar skilled nursing facilities. Part B coverage, on the other hand, is the coverage that pays for routine medical care such as physician visits, immunizations, lab work and other outpatient treatment.
2. Medicate Advantage Plans (Part C Coverage)
Original Medicare benefits have their limits. They will not cover certain types of care, such as dental, vision or hearing, nor will they cover prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage plans are private health insurance plans, sold by major insurers, that you can buy to achieve these benefits.
An Advantage plan will provide you with all the benefits of Original Medicare plus such expanded coverage as dental, vision or prescription benefits. These plans can vary significantly, and they will have different cost structures. However, they must still meet minimum standards set by the Medicare program, and all Advantage plan policyholders remain in the Medicare program.
3. Medicare Prescription Drug Benefits (Part D Coverage)
Some people will not qualify for Medicare Advantage plans, but they still might want the critical coverage provided by prescription drug insurance. Original Medicare participants can receive this coverage with a Part D prescription drug plan. As with Medicare Advantage plans, these are private plans, and each has a different cost structure and drug formulary.
4. Medicare Supplements (Medigap Plans)
When you buy Original Medicare, you will have to pay certain fees out of pocket for the care you receive. These include deductibles, coinsurance or copayments. For assistance paying these costs, you might qualify for a Medicare Supplement plan. It is commonly called a Medigap plan because it can cover gaps in coverage where you might have to pay for care yourself otherwise.
If you have paid the federal Medicare payroll tax for a qualifying number of quarters, then you often qualify for Original Part A coverage with a $0 premium. However, you will have to pay a premium on your Part B coverage, which in 2020 is $144.20.
Keep in mind, however, that if you buy a Medicare Advantage, Part D or Medigap plan, you will have to pay separate premiums for these benefits in addition to your Part B premium. Because these are private plans, their premiums can vary. Our agents are happy to help you compare your policy options to determine which one is best for you.
Most people qualify for Original Medicare around their 65th birthday, and the best time to enroll is during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This is a 7-month period that starts three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after the month of your 65th birthday. While there are other times when you might be able to enroll in Original Medicare, you might have to pay late enrollment penalties for doing so.
To enroll in Part C, Part D or Medigap plans, you generally must have Part B coverage first. You can then proceed to enroll in the benefits of your choice. However, the enrollment periods for these plans vary. Our agents are experts in determining both your qualifications and enrollment timelines for these private plan options.