As you approach turning age 65, your mailbox becomes inundated with Medicare Information from various carriers and agencies.  This feels like a huge and complicated decision.  It’s not, nor should it feel so.

Here are some simple tips you should know:

  1. Your open enrollment time for Medicare Part B is 3 months prior to the month you turn age 65, the month you turn age 65, and 3 months after.  This means you have 7 months to enroll in Medicare Part B
    1. When is part B automatic?  If you are already drawing Social Security or you plan to at age 65.  If this is the case, there is nothing you need to do to sign up
    2. If you are not drawing social security and are planning to defer Social Security , you need to go to www.medicare.gov to sign up for Part B.  This is not hard!  Part will start the 1st day of the month you turn age 65.  If done on or after the month you turn age 65, Part B will start in the next corresponding month.  (just remember to sign up before the 3 months following your birthday ends.  Otherwise you will be stuck with a penalty)
  2. What are my options in addition to just Part A and Part B of medicare:
    1. Purchase a Medicare Supplement for an additional cost and a stand along prescription drug plan
      1. You pay a premium (and depending on the Plan, a one time Part B deductible- $184 for 2019)
      2. The Open Enrollment time period for Medicare Supplements is 6 months prior to, the month of, and 6 months following your 65th birthday.  During this time, you can sign up for any plan with no health questions
    2. Purchase just a prescription drug plan
    3. Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, often known as Part C.
      1. Offered by private insurance companies.  Often for a $0 to low cost premium
      2. Part C plans have in and out-of-networks providers, with co pays and deductibles
        1. you are in network only in the county in which you live (typically)
        2. Generally includes prescription drug coverage
        3. Board Networks in bigger metropolitan cities.  Generally far more limiting in rural communities
  3. What is the open enrollment period that takes place every October- December
    1. This is a time period where you can:
      1. make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan- dis-enroll and/or enroll in a particular plan
      2. Make changes to your Prescription Drug plan.
  4. Is there an open enrollment time period for Medicare Supplements:
    1. We get this question a lot.  The answer is no.  The reason is because Medicare is still your primary, and the Supplement is you secondary insurance.  You do not have to have a supplement therefore you can make changes throughout the year as these rates tend to change on your policy’s effective date

Call Us today with any questions!

Beau Singletary, ChFC, CLU
President/Licensed Representative

Toll Free: (855) 664-5660
Office: (828) 513-5045
Fax: (828) 348-5526