Medicare- Things you should know.
You qualify for Medicare when you turn 65 or have been diagnosed with ALS or End Stage Renal disease, or have a disability and have received disability benefits for at least 24 months. Sometimes sooner.
Medicare Annual Election Period begins
Oct 15 and runs through Dec 7.
During this time you can enroll in a Medigap or Advantage insurance plan or change the plan you are in.
Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans vs. Advantage Plans
Both are offered through private insurance companies.
A Supplemental plan has a higher premium and you also must purchase a Stand Alone Part D prescription plan. These types of plans follow you anywhere in the United States and some even go with you when visiting foreign countries. If you purchase a medicare supplement plan you can see any doctor that accepts Medicare patients, some plans pay some or all of your Medicare Part B deductibles. These types of plans are medically underwritten and carriers reserve the right to deny you enrollment. However, there is one exception: 3 mo. before your turn 65 and 3 mos. after if you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and eligible for Medicare Part B you do not have to answer any of the health questions on the application. You are guaranteed acceptance. Out of pocket costs are more stable with these kinds of plans.
Advantage plans are also through private insurance carriers but are regulated by the Federal Government. They have a higher out of pocket cost sharing but many offer Prescription Drug coverage and some even offer dental, vision, hearing and even free Gym memberships. You can qualify for an Advantage plan if you are living in the service area where they are offered. New in 2019, Aetna and United are offering some plans that allow you to access their national network of providers. So if you winter in warmer climates within the U.S. you can access these networks. You need to receive services from contracted network providers for the best financial benefit. If you move out of the service area you need to secure a new plan offered in your new place of residence. There are no health conditions under which you would be denied plan membership.