Recently in Harrisburg, PA, Secretary of Aging and Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller provided a consumer alert that many seniors in Pennsylvania should acknowledge.
The following is a breakdown of her advice and what should be done given that the 2017 Enrollment Period for Medicare is approaching in October, 2016.
“As some Pennsylvanians stay in the workforce beyond 65 or choose a retiree health plan over Medicare, it is important to understand how your health coverage works after you’re Medicare-eligible,” Commissioner Miller said. “Not doing so could create unexpected out-of-pocket expenses on your health care.”
Medicare, which is administered by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, provides coverage, either directly or through private health insurance companies, at four different levels and consumers can choose which of these four Parts make sense for them:
· Medicare Part A (Hospital Coverage)
· Medicare Part B (Medical Coverage)
· Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage (Parts A and B together)
· Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)
She also went on to urge seniors that are new to Medicare what they should do as the approach the age of 65.
If a consumer decides that enrolling in Medicare is the best choice to ensure proper coverage, it may be better to enroll when the consumer first becomes eligible. Electing to enroll in Medicare after initial eligibility may result in a higher premium due to the late enrollment. Medicare eligibility begins three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after (Initial Enrollment Period), and the General Enrollment Period for Medicare takes place from January 1-March 31 each year with coverage beginning on July 1. There are also select situations which may qualify one for a Special Enrollment Period.
If you are wondering “is Medicare worth it?” you will be happy to find that millions of dollars have been saved since 2010, particularly with prescriptions drugs. The key however is making sure that you are truly enrolled in the best plan for your needs. Here is some news presented by CMS.gov:
The Department of Health and Human Services released today new information that shows that millions of seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare continue to save on prescription drugs and see improved benefits in 2015 as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Nearly 10.7 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $20.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $1,945 per beneficiary – since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. In 2015 alone, nearly 5.2 million seniors and people with disabilities received discounts of over $5.4 billion, for an average of $1,054 per beneficiary. This is an increase in savings compared to 2014, when 5.1 million Medicare beneficiaries received discounts of $4.8 billion, for an average of $941 per beneficiary.
Now more than ever, it’s a good time to setup a consultation with a Medicare supplement expert in Pennsylvania if you do not understand your plan, or if you are receiving the best coverage that you should be. The peace of mind can be worth it knowing that you are saving the most money while heading into your retirement years. Your family can also feel at ease knowing that your choices were based on the recommendations of a Medicare Insurance agent.
Looking to setup an insurance consultation for the 2017 Medicare Enrollment period?
Your Recommended Agent is Greg from BGA Insurance Group
Greg Gudis – Licensed agent ready to assist you during the enrollment period in 2016. Please fill out the form below to send your information to Greg so that he can contact you with the best advice and plan information for your current situation. He can also provide expert advice on retirement planning, life insurance, and long-term care.