Health Insurance

Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods

Each year there are set times a person can enroll in Medicare or change existing Medicare plans. There are separate enrollment periods for Medicare Parts A and B (Original Medicare) and Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage). Medicare Enrollment Periods Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) – the first time an eligible person can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. This timeline begins three months before the month of a person’s 65th birthday and continues through the three months after a person’s 65th birthday. Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP) – the first time a newly eligible person can enroll in a Medicare…

Busting the Top 10 Medicare Myths

Healthcare is one of the single most expensive and important parts of your retirement. Most Americans don’t fully understand how Medicare works. Misunderstandings surrounding Medicare can be costly, so here are 10 of the most common Medicare myths. It’s checkup for your health and your money. Myth 1 – Medicare and Medicaid are the Same Thing They sure sound alike, but Medicare and Medicaid are actually two totally different programs. Medicare is a federal program that provides insurance to people ages 65 and older. Some people with disabilities or people who are on dialysis may also qualify for coverage. Since…

Turning 65 Soon? How to Prepare for Medicare

Imagine (and maybe you don’t have to imagine) you are turning 65 years old later this year. A significant milestone, if for no other reason than becoming eligible to receive Medicare. What do you do? How should you prepare for it? What is next? Read Up On Medicare Eligibility And Coverage Individuals who turn 65 and have been paying into the Medicare system for at least 10 years (or have spouses who have paid) are among those automatically eligible for Medicare Part A. This part of Medicare covers inpatient hospital insurance, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health…

How to Prepare for the Cost of Aging with Long-Term Care Insurance

Insurance involves thinking about the possibility of misfortune—everything from a damaged car, to a damaged home, to damaged heath. And the older we get, the more we need to consider the possibility of long-term care (LTC) insurance to help in our twilight years. What is Long-Term Care Insurance? LTC is an insurance policy that pays for care when you can no longer manage yourself. Should you need to enter a nursing home, move to an assisted-living facility, use an adult daycare center or have a caretaker in your home, LTC can protect you, and family members, from financial disaster. How…

Vision Coverage on Medicare: What You Need to Know

Millions of Americans experience vision problems. This number continues to rise as the population ages. In fact, a study by the National Institutes of Health indicates that by 2050 the number of Americans with a vision problem will hit more than 8 million people, double what it is today. If you’re on Medicare and experience vision problems, you may be wondering about your coverage for eye exams and vision care. The risk of vision loss increases with age but most routine eye exams are not covered by Basic Medicare (Parts A and B). So what is covered and what do…

What You Need to Know About Your Medicare Card

When you enroll in Medicare, you’ll receive a card that proves your enrollment. Like most other health insurance cards, you present the card when you get medical care. Social Security and Your Medicare Card If you’re turning 65 and you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll get a Medicare card automatically – it should show up in the mail three months before your 65th birthday. If you’re turning 65 and not yet getting Social Security benefits, or if you need Medicare for other reasons, you can apply in three different ways: online at www.socialsecurity.gov, by calling Social Security (800-772-1213) between…

Options When You Must Pay for Medical Care

Obtaining quality medical care sometimes comes with a high price that you must pay. Whether for an elective procedure such as cosmetic, bariatric or laser eye surgery, or medically necessary surgery that is out-of-network or exceeds your coverage limit, you may face thousands of dollars of medical debt. Although the thought of coming up with a pile of cash to pay off medical bills may seem daunting, you have choices when it comes to financing medical debt. There’s no need for you to postpone or refuse important medical care because of high costs. Here are a few financing options to…

5 Ways to Save on Medicare Supplement Plans

Making sure your healthcare needs are covered in retirement is essential. There are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to Medigap coverage, also known as Medicare supplement plans. Use these tips to get the coverage you need while finding ways to save. Know Thyself With so much advice swirling around, it is easy to lose sight of what’s important. Your healthcare needs are about you. What works well for one person might be disastrous for someone else. Before you start to find ways to save on Medicare supplement plans, you need to understand your health history and…

7 Resources for Making Sense of Medicare

It’s open enrollment season for Medicare. If you’re currently enrolled in Medicare, you have until December 7 to review the various plan options. This is the time when to decide which are right for your health insurance needs and finances. These are the same decisions you would make if you’re enrolling for Medicare for the first time—which you can do starting three months before your 65th birthday and up to three months afterward (or eight months after retirement if you work past 65). If you fall into either camp, or need to help make these choices for a parent or…

On Medicare? Is Your Flu Shot Covered?

There are a lot of questions that go into planning for retirement, and some of those questions concern healthcare costs. Among the more simple, straightforward questions many people have is this one: “Does Medicare cover flu shots?” The basic answer is, “Yes.” But to understand flu shot coverage, we need to do a basic lesson in Medicare 101. A lot of supplemental types of insurance have been added to the world of Medicare, but the essential program known as “Original Medicare,” is made up of two parts: Medicare Part A: Hospital insurance that covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a…

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