If you or your spouse is still working when approaching age 65, the Medicare Part B Penalty is a common concern. Below we break down whether you need to sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B to avoid this penalty.
Medicare fraud and abuse is a serious crime to report immediately. Medicare fraud can come in many forms but generally involves the illegal practice of falsifying Medicare claims to receive higher financial compensation. One other form of Medicare fraud involves identity theft. This can occur when a person’s Medicare information is stolen and used to submit fraudulent claims.
Although they sound similar, Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage are far from the same, yet they do share similarities. A few of the similarities are that they both provide medical coverage, you are eligible for both at 65, and both are regulated by the government. A few of the many differences between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage are coverage, cost, travel, network, coinsurance vs. copay.
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. It can be through two avenues: original Medicare, a stand alone Part D that is a separate plan that you have to enroll in through a private insurance company or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). Most Advantage plans include a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan.
Medicare Part C is the same thing as a Medicare Advantage Plan. They are just different names for the same thing. You will hear the terms Medicare Advantage, Part C, and MA plans used interchangeably. Medicare Advantage plans are provided by Medicare approved private companies. They can be thought of as a "bundle You need to have Medicare Part A and B to get an Advantage Plan. Your Advantage plan (Part C) essentially replaces Medicare Part A, Part B, and typically Part D too.
What does Medicare Part B cover? It covers treatments and supplies that are medically necessary to either treat or diagnose, preventative health care, and durable medical equipment. Things such as doctor visits, screenings, ambulance services, and wheelchairs are covered with Medicare Part B.
What is Medicare Part A? Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. Medicare Part A covers hospital inpatient services, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, post-inpatient home health care.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that all local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020. However, their secure and convenient online services remain available at www.socialsecurity.gov . Local offices will also continue to provide critical services over the phone. What does this mean for people in need of applying for Medicare during this time? While the SSA offices are closed for in-person service there are still options for you to enroll in your Medicare coverage needs. People needing to apply for Medicare generally fall into one of three enrollment situations and below are instructions for each of those situations.
The Medicare Part D penalty is a late enrollment fee that is added to the monthly premium for your Part D plan. How do you know if you owe a Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty? After your initial enrollment period, if you go 63 consecutive days or longer without a Medicare Part D plan, a Medicare Advantage Plan, a different Medicare health plan that has prescription drug coverage, or any other valid prescription drug coverage you will owe a penalty. How do you avoid the Part D penalty? When you first become eligible for a Medicare prescription drug plan, join it. Have creditable prescription drug coverage, whether it is from the Department of Veterans Affairs, employers, unions, health insurance coverage, or other providers. Keep records that show you had credible drug coverage. Your plan will check if you had prescription drug coverage for 63 days or longer when you join a Medicare Part D plan. You may have to fill out a form if the plan does not think you had prescription drug coverage.
Starting in 2019, a popular Medicare insurance product known as a Medicare Cost plan will no longer be available to members in the vast majority of counties throughout Minnesota. Policyholders who are on this type of plan, which has been offered by three insurance companies here, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners, and Medica, will need to choose replacement coverage for January 1st. This impacts nearly 300,000 Minnesota residents.
The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period is the one time each year when you can switch your Medicare Advantage (MA), Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug (MAPD), or Part D Prescription Drug (PDP) plan. This means that if you don’t like your current policy, you would use this time to enroll in a different plan to replace it, with an effective date of January 1. Medicare plans can change each year—things like the premium, coverages, and which providers and pharmacies are in their networks. You should compare the cost and coverages of your current MA, MAPD, or PDP plan to see if it is still the best fit. If needed, you can change Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better suit you. If you're satisfied that your current plan will meet your needs for next year, and provided that it is still being offered, you don’t need to do anything. With a list of your current providers and medications, the licensed agents at MN Health Insurance Network can compare all of the Medicare plans that they represent in your area for free, and make suitable recommendations. Contact us at (952) 224-0123.
Retirement affords many seniors the opportunity to travel, which often includes trips abroad. These activities create certain challenges with regard to health insurance coverage for medical issues that may arise while these Medicare members are outside of our borders.
The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period is the one time each year when you can switch your Medicare Advantage (MA), Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug (MAPD), or Part D Prescription Drug (PDP) plan. This means that if you don’t like your current plan, you can use this time to enroll in a different plan to replace it effective the first of the following year. You should compare the cost and coverages of your current MA, MAPD, or PDP plan to see if it is still the best fit for your needs. With a list of your current providers and medications, the licensed agents at MN Health Insurance Network can compare all of the Medicare plans that they represent in your area for free, and make suitable recommendations.
What is MN Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Donut Hole?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are age 65 and older, and for certain individuals with disabilities. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, while Part B covers doctor services. Medicare Part C refers to Medicare Advantage plans offered by private companies, and Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage. Medicare beneficiaries can stay in the traditional federal program, and purchase supplemental policies from insurance carriers. In some parts of the country, older adults have the option to enroll in Medicare Cost plans offered by private companies
There are several types of Medicare products available in Minnesota including Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplement Plans, Medigap Plans, and stand-alone Prescription Drug plans. One other type is a Medicare Cost Plan. These plans are unique to this region and are very popular among Medicare members because they share the cost of claims with Medicare, while providing additional benefits not covered by Medicare. These benefits can include eyewear coverage, hearing aid coverage, dental coverage, health club memberships, as well as options to add prescription drug coverage. In addition, these plans travel well for members seeking coverage within the U.S., but outside of this area. Best of all the premiums are generally very competitive.
It’s that time again. Every year, Medicare has an open enrollment period when Medicare beneficiaries may apply for a new Medicare plan, or change the Medicare coverage that they currently have. This enrollment period is from October 15 through December 7, with plans becoming effective on January 1. Sorting through the different Medicare products like Medicare Supplement Plans, Medigap Plans, Medicare Select Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Cost Plans, or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, can be a daunting task. Working with a broker like MN Health Insurance Network can be extremely beneficial in helping you choose the right Medicare plan for you based on your specific needs.
On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. Among many other Medicare related issues, this act extended through 2015 the ability of insurance companies to offer contracts known as Medicare Cost plans. These popular plans allow Medicare members to purchase or leave them anytime during the year. They provide medical coverage, and in some cases, prescription drug coverage options, at an affordable premium. This is good news for the insurance companies in the states, like Minnesota, that sell this type of Medicare policy. BlueCross and BlueShield of Minnesota, HealthPartners and Medica all offer Medicare Cost Plans.
Medicare's annual open-enrollment period starts Today, October 15th, 2013. This is the time of year beneficiaries have to make changes to their Medicare supplement plans. You will have from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 to choose your 2014 coverage, and you can contact a MN Health Insurance Network Medicare specials to assist you in evaluating you Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost, and Part D prescription-drug options. Important: Don't confuse Medicare open enrollment with the new health-insurance marketplaces that have just opened under the Affordable Care Act. If you are covered by Medicare, you don't need to visit the ACA marketplaces.
A Medigap policy is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage. These “gaps” are the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan covers, but doesn't pay for. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will each pay its share of covered health care costs. Generally, when you buy a Medigap policy you must have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will have to continue to pay the monthly Medicare Part B premium. In addition, you will have to pay a premium to the Medigap insurance company. As long as you pay your premium, your Medigap policy is guaranteed renewable, meaning that it is automatically renewed each year. However, if a Medigap policy was purchased before 1992, insurance companies in some states may refuse to renew it.
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