Medicare Open Enrollment – a term that may be very familiar to you and nearly everyone else, but especially to those who are already on Medicare and want to drop or switch plans.
October 15th through December 7th of each year is the period known as open enrollment and allows individuals ample opportunity to investigate whether they can benefit from switching up their coverage. But Medicare is confusing, and there can be some caveats to changing that may not allow you to get the coverage needed. You would think that because it’s a government program for virtually everyone, they would make it clear and easy to understand, but hey, we’re talking about the government here, so it comes as no surprise that it’s about as clear as mud.
In this episode of A Place of Possibility™, we’ll be going through the nuts and bolts of Medicare so that you’ll come away with a better understanding of how the program works and, most importantly, how to make the right decisions when it comes time to choose your coverage when you join or update it later on during this the open enrollment period.
We will be talking about:
- The history and motivation behind the creation of Medicare
- How you qualify for Medicare
- An in-depth breakdown of the various Medicare options you’ll choose from — Parts A, B, C, and D — including their pluses and minuses (Here’s where you’ll see why your choices matter so much)
- What Medigap coverage is and the options you’ll have to base your premium on
- The upside and downside of obtaining Medigap coverage through a broker
- Why you really DON’T want to miss your enrollment period
Selecting Medicare coverage is a big decision. With it comes a variety of implications, including several potentially serious pitfalls that could keep you from getting the right coverage for your needs. Our goal with this episode is to help you get on the right path to an informed decision from the very beginning of the process.
P.S. Looking to meet with Richard or Angela at our office in Alamo, Ca? Want to discuss more of what you heard in this episode? Wondering where the heck you need to get started or what all of this means for your retirement plans? Scheduled free 30-minute session and find the peace of mind you deserve for the rest of your life. You can also reach by calling 925.736.6410 or send an email to Info@APlaceOfPossibility.com.
“People wait until a month or two before they turn 65 and then it’s this mad scramble. What we want to do is have you be completely prepared for yourself, for your parents, for your brother, or whoever is coming up to this, because it’s a HUGE decision and there are times when you can’t go backwards.”
We’re proud to present you with our “Know Your Possibilities Guide,” a tool and free resource for you to take notes, review, keep on hand, or even share with your friends and family. So grab your copy, click the play button, and follow along. You’re just minutes away from discovering your next Place of Possibility™.
A Glance at this Episode:
0:32 Unfortunately, people don’t understand Medicare. You think it would be really easy since everyone signs up for it at 65, but this is not the case. Listen in as we discuss the main reason why your Medicare decisions are so important.
1:20 Did you know that Medicare wasn’t implemented until the ’60s during the Johnson administration? Here’s why Medicare was created.
2:09 Yes, everyone who turns 65 should be signing up for Medicare, but there are some qualification caveats. Here’s what you need to know.
2:35 Wait hold up, certain individuals under 65 could qualify for Medicare too? Yes! But you must have been on disability for two years, have ALS, or be on kidney dialysis.
3:05 If you don’t quite qualify for Medicare coverage, for example, you didn’t work 40 quarters, you can still obtain coverage, but it will cost you.
3:20 Don’t miss your window to apply. Otherwise, you will have to wait for the next open enrollment period and get hit with a permanent 10% penalty fee. Yes, permanent, that means forever!
4:16 Next, let’s discuss what Medicare parts A and B cover. And not to give it all away, but our acronyms to remember these two options are “Admitted” and “Butcher Paper.” Press play now to find out exactly what we mean.
5:12 Parts C and D are enhancements that came along during the George W. Bush administration. Listen in for what these options added to the program and our acronyms for these two.
5:50 When it comes time to start your Medicare coverage, you’re either going to choose A, B, and D or C only. That’s it!
8:15 Let’s go down our first rabbit hole, shall we? Here are a couple of the drawbacks of Parts A and B. This is where Medigap coverage comes into play.
9:12 Thinking about going to a Medigap broker? That can be helpful if you want someone to walk you through your options, but just be aware that broker = commission and a potential conflict of interest.
9:30 Now, we’re going to dig into an even deeper rabbit hole. Are you ready? Let’s go. There are three main methods to establishing your Medigap premium two have to do with your age, whereas the third is based on the community you live in.
11:07 Our recommendation would be to select the attained age option for Medigap, if you can afford it. Here’s why.
11:47 We’re still digging into our Medigap rabbit hole, folks. With that said, let’s discuss how we choose a Medigap policy because, let’s be real, these options are confusing in their own right. Here’s our recommendation.
13:25 Now that we’ve talked about A and B, let’s come up for some fresh air and sunlight as we start to review part C.
14:21 If you choose Medicare Part C but need more complete coverage, you can go back to parts A and B, but you have to qualify for Medigap coverage medically, which can be a BIG problem.
15:45 Alright, folks, remember this phrase “AnyBody Does Great,” the acronym for our recommended Medicare coverage, if you can afford it. Why? Because this combo is like the Cadillac of Medicare.
16:45 Choosing your Medicare plan is vitally important, but it isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of thing. You must check it every year to ensure it meets your needs regarding the drugs you take.
17:50 Did you know that online pharmacies usually have the best deals? Also, your financial planner should be helping you shop for drugs to save money!
18:48 Please be careful of other sites posing as Medicare – only use Medicare.gov and look at the URL the entire time to ensure you haven’t been lured away.
19:31 Q&A Should I use a Medicare broker or not?
20:16 Wondering if taking Medicare coverage is mandatory? Here’s what you need to know.
21:46 People often confuse Medicare with Medicaid. This is the distinction between the two.
22:19 Is it possible to get dental and vision outside Medicare part C?
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Links/Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
- To access the official Medicare website, go to https://www.medicare.gov
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