One More Medicare Minute – Medicare Part D, the “Donut Hole” and Getting Help

One More Medicare Minute – Medicare Part D, the “Donut Hole” and Getting Help

During the month of August, we have tried to cover the subject of Medicare in little bite-sized bits. One at a time, we went over the Parts of Medicare, Original Medicare and Advantage Plans (also called “Part C”). Today’s Medicare Minute covers Part D, the prescription drug coverage plans available. At first glance, seniors might think this is a straight-forward subject, but it is not! For many seniors, Part D is the cause of confusion, worry and expense, sometimes considerable expense. There are hundreds of Medicare Part D plans, each with its own formulary (a list of covered drugs), copays, deductibles and “tiers” of coverage. In addition, Part D still includes the famous coverage gap or “donut hole” you have probably heard about. Here is the good news, any one of several OurSeniors.net Family Partners or Approved Vendors can be a great help in choosing the best Part D plan for your situation. As you will see, this can vary widely from...
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A Medicare Minute, “The Parts of Medicare”

A Medicare Minute, “The Parts of Medicare”

Sometimes it pays to review basic information. This is certainly true when it comes to Medicare; a survey conducted by the Medicare administration revealed that a majority of seniors could not name or describe the four parts of the Medicare system. This is information that every senior should have at hand, especially when signing up as a new Medicare beneficiary or during the annual open enrollment period. You must understand your Medicare choices and pick your coverage carefully; how you do so will determine your benefits, who you get them from, and it can affect your out-of-pocket costs. Medicare has four major elements, Parts A, B, C and D. The first two (A and B) are often called “Original Medicare.” This is the most basic coverage you can obtain. Part C and Part D are available through private health insurance plans. They enhance your coverage if you want more than Original Medicare offers. This situation is sometimes confusing because Part C...
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A Medicare Minute from OurSeniors.net

A Medicare Minute from OurSeniors.net

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) vs. Medicare Plan C (a Medigap Option) The Medicare terms “Part C” and “Plan C” sound enough alike to be the source of misunderstanding. If you are uncertain about the meanings of “Part C” and “Plan C,” here is a quick reference: Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA). Medicare Advantage plans are comprehensive plans that provide all your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). Plan C is one of the ten standardized Medigap plans offered in most states. These plans are designed to fill in the gaps between approved Medicare costs and the 80% of those costs that Medicare Part B pays. Medigap insurance Plan C is one of the most comprehensive of the 10 standardized Medigap insurance plans available. Only Medigap Plan F offers...
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A Medicare Minute

A Medicare Minute

The core purpose of the entire OurSeniors.net Family is to serve the needs of seniors in every way we can. We do this in person at our Brunch and Learn Events and sometimes through our professional office staff. We also devote a great effort to our printed magazine, the OurSeniors.net Magazine. We understand the preference many seniors continue to have for in-hand, printed material. We also understand that seniors are far more tech-savvy than many younger people think. After all, this is the internet isn’t it? Here are two quick Medicare-on-the-web tips that can save you time and future problems: About Your Personal Medicare Information If you have not already done so, make sure Medicare can give your personal health information to someone other than yourself. The unexpected can always occur, and seniors should be especially prepared to deal with it. What would happen if you or a loved one were to be suddenly incapacitated and unable to act on your own behalf....
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An OurSeniors.net “Medicare Moment”

An OurSeniors.net “Medicare Moment”

OurSeniors.net has a core mission: we try to serve the needs of seniors in any way we can.  We know that one of the most common concerns for our seniors is healthcare and, especially, the Medicare system. With this in mind, we try to touch on this topic from time to time. Here are some OurSeniors.net ‘Medicare Moments’ for today. First, we know that many seniors are far more adept at using the internet than many people believe. If you have not already done so, you can (and should) set up an online “MyMedicare” account that will make it faster and easier to get personal Medicare information. Registering at www.mymedicare.gov allows you to: Check on Medicare information like claims as soon as they are processed. It is much faster than depending on regular mail forms. View Part B deductible information. Have you paid your yearly deductible for 2019 yet? Check your health and prescription drug enrollment information. Find preventive service information. ...
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Social Security and Medicare

Social Security and Medicare

No subjects interest seniors more than the twin topics of Social Security and Medicare. Because those matters are so important to our seniors, we like to keep up with them from time to time. In 2019, there are some changes to the Medicare program that may affect you. Here are a few: Medicare premiums and deductibles for Parts A and B have increased slightly in 2019. Most seniors pay nothing for Part A (hospital expenses) coverage but the deductible has risen to $1364 in 2019.  The Medicare Part B standard monthly premiums cost rose $1.50 to $135.50. Medicare beneficiaries with annual incomes greater than $85,000 will pay more.  Annual deductibles have risen by $2 to $185 during 2019. Medicare Prescription Drug Costs (Part D). In 2019 the national average for Part D premiums is $33.19 per month, but the amount you pay for your prescription drugs on Medicare depends on which Part D prescription drug plan you have. Part D...
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Let’s Look Ahead

Let’s Look Ahead

Nothing is more important to seniors than Social Security and Medicare, the two most popular programs run by our government. With that in mind, let’s look ahead to some changes coming to those programs in 2019. For Social Security Benefits, there will be an increase of 2.8% in 2019.  This is the most significant cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in several years. According to the AARP, the average single Social Security recipient will receive a benefit of $1,461 per month in 2019.  This affects household income for about one in five Americans, including Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans and federal retirees. For Medicare Part A (in hospital expenses), here are the changes: About 99 % of Medicare beneficiaries pay no Part A premium at all, since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. The Part A inpatient hospital deductible will be $1,364 in 2019, an increase of $24 from 2018.  Additional costs are incurred after 60 hospital days. For Medicare Part B (doctor...
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Medicare Will Change in 2019 (For the Better)

Medicare Will Change in 2019 (For the Better)

No subject is of greater interest to seniors than the Medicare program.  As Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period for 2019 coverage starts today (October 15 through December 7), there is some good news about changes coming in the new year. As a reminder, if you are already enrolled in Medicare and happy with your coverage, you do not need to do anything. Your health insurance company will send you an “Annual Notice of Change,” a letter sent each year to inform you of any changes to your personal plan’s premiums, copays, hospital, doctor and pharmacy networks and drug formularies. If you want no plan changes, your 2019 coverage will be unchanged from the past year However, 2019 will bring some changes to the overall Medicare Program that should interest you. Here are some of the important things to know: New Rules Allow a “Test Drive” for Advantage Plans.  Advantage Plans (also called Medicare Part C) can often offer lower costs plus side benefits....
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Medicare Open Enrollment period begins on October 15th

Medicare Open Enrollment period begins on October 15th

It is time to remind all seniors that the Medicare Open Enrollment period begins on October 15, 2018 and runs through December 7, 2018. During this time, beneficiaries can make changes to their Medicare supplemental coverage. These dates are important because once the enrollment period has ended no further changes to Medicare enrollment can be made until the following year. If you are not satisfied with your current insurance coverage or uncertain about it, this is the time to seek good advice. During this 8-week period, seniors may join a new Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D prescription drug plan, switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan or switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare (with or without a Part D plan). OurSeniors.net exists to help meet the needs of seniors in all ways possible and helping with medical insurance and Medicare questions has to be at the top of every senior’s ‘needs list.’ Seniors should be thinking...
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