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Navigating Medicare

Navigating Medicare with a trusted specialist on your side

5 things you didn't know about Medicare 

 

Approaching Medicare and the task of choosing the right coverages can be an overwhelming prospect. It is a complex system that can confuse even the sharpest of consumers. Here are five Medicare facts to get you pointed in the right direction.

 

 

1. Using a licensed insurance agent to navigate Medicare is at no cost to you, and can offer the same brands you may see online or on TV

 

Many people may be under the impression they will have to pay out-of-pocket fees to work with a local insurance agent. In truth, licensed agents are not compensated by customers for services provided, but through the companies that hold the policies in the form of a commission.

 

These companies are, in many cases, the same familiar brands that advertise across the Internet, on TV, and in print publications. You can get the added benefit of working with a local Loman-Ray specialist that’s familiar with all the ins and outs of these branded Medicare programs, without any additional cost to you.

 

 

2. Medicare enrollment is done through Social Security offices in-person, online, or by phone. Once completed, additional coverage can be added by an insurance agent

 

You are eligible to apply for Medicare ninety days prior to the beginning of your birth month. Federal law mandates that you must obtain a Medicare card first through the Social Security office prior to adding any additional coverage. The easiest way to get the process started is to head to www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare.

 

It is normally a 30-day turnaround to receive approval after applying for Medicare, so don’t hesitate. Only after you obtain your Medicare card can you begin the process of determining what additional coverages would be best for your circumstances.

 

 

3. Medicare does not cover prescription drugs (without enrolling in Part D)

 

While original Part A and Part B Medicare covers inpatient hospital care and visits to your doctor, the vast majority of your prescription drug needs will not be covered without enrolling in a Part D plan. These drug coverage plans offer critical coverage for specialty and maintenance pharmaceuticals your health depends on. A Loman-Ray agent can work with you to determine a good fit for your specific circumstances, because not all Part D plans cover the same drugs equally.

 

 

4. You will likely face penalties for enrolling late, or opting out of a Part D plan

 

Enrolling after the deadline should be avoided at all costs. Not only will you see a fee added to your monthly premium when you do enroll (10% in most cases), but the longer you wait the higher the fee can become. Just like with health coverage, declining to elect your Part D (prescription drug) coverage may also surprise you with additional fees to pay, unless you have another approved drug coverage plan in place. The good news is that these fees are avoidable by being vigilant with the deadlines.

 

 

5. Medicare Supplement plans offer you flexibility if changes are needed throughout the year

 

Although Medicare Advantage and Part D plans can only be changed at certain times of the year, the Medicare Supplement plans can be changed to a different Medicare Supplement at any time. This flexibility is a benefit in cases of moving residences, your health needs evolve, or if your financial status changes. Speak with a licensed agent to discuss more fully whether a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan would be best for your lifestyle and circumstances.

 

 

Loman-Ray Insurance has experienced Medicare specialists on staff to help equip you with the right information to make a good choice for your situation. We've been assisting central Illinois Medicare customers for decades. Reach out today to see if we can help you as well.

 

 

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages. These descriptions do not refer to any specific contract of insurance and they do not modify any definitions, exclusions or any other provision expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. We encourage you to speak to your insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.

Call your agent today, or find a local Medicare specialist here.

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