Frequently Asked Questions
How much do I have to pay for Medicare? Most Medicare beneficiaries will not pay anything for Part A. Medicare Part B comes with a monthly premium of $170.10 per month in 2022. You could pay more or less depending on your income and how you file your taxes. Social Security can tell you exactly what you’ll be paying.
When do I need to sign up for Medicare? If you are already getting Social Security benefits then you will be signed up automatically for your Medicare A & B. You don’t have to do anything. Your Red White and Blue Medicare card will be sent to you approximately 3 months prior to your 65th birthday month. Coverage begins the first day of the month you turn 65.
If you were born on the 1st of the month, then coverage is effective the 1st day of the month prior to your birthday month. If you are not getting SS benefits yet, then you’ll need to sign up for Medicare. It’s a 7 month window that begins 3 months prior to your 65 birthday month, the month of your birthday, and 3 months after.
That’s your Initial Enrollment window and if you miss it, then you could end up paying a penalty and losing out on coverage for some time.
Watch our step by step video How To Apply For Medicare Online.
After watching our step by step video, then go apply for Medicare online at the Social Security website.
Do I need to get a Medicare Supplement? Medicare is great insurance but it does have holes and gaps. If you only had Parts A&B of Medicare, you would be under-insured. Medicare only covers up to 80%, so without a Supplement you could face lots of out of pocket costs for your medical care.
Will my doctors accept this plan? Medicare Supplements provide you with nationwide coverage and you can see any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. There are no networks or referrals required with this type of plan.
Does a Medicare Supplement include prescription drug coverage? None of the standardized Medicare Supplement plans include Rx coverage. You can get a Prescription drug plan as a stand alone plan in addition to your supplement.
Can I get a Medicare Supplement if I have a pre-existing condition? During your Open Enrollment period (6 months from when you first get Part B), you are guaranteed to get coverage and you do not have to medically qualify. Also, your policy cannot be cancelled and is guaranteed renewable, as long as the premiums are paid on time.
Am I covered when I travel outside the United States? Most of the supplement plans include Foreign Travel Emergency coverage.
Is Medicare Advantage considered a Medicare Supplement? Medicare Advantage is not a Medicare Supplement (Medigap). There are private insurance companies that manage your coverage from the Medicare Advantage Plan and not Original Medicare. With Medicare Advantage there are networks and co-pays. You could have unpredictable costs each year. There are also certain restrictions on when you can switch or change plans. You may be able to get a $0 premium monthly plan.
How do you know which company to choose? There are hundreds of companies that offer Medicare Supplement plans. They are all regulated by Medicare and licensed by the state in which they offer plans. You may recognize big name companies since they have large advertising budgets. But, it doesn’t mean they have the lowest rates.
The rating of the company is not as important as other factors such as how long they have been offering Medicare plans and also their rate increase history. You don’t have to worry about whether the company will pay all the bills. All claims go to Medicare FIRST and Medicare determines whether to approve the claim, not the insurance company (like other types of health insurance).
If Medicare approves the claim they tell the insurance company to pay. They all pay claims the same way, they have to it’s the law. Also, if a company were to go out of business for whatever reason, you are protected in that you have a guaranteed right to get the same plan from another company in your area.
How do I know I’m getting the best rate? Rates are usually based on zip code, age, gender, tobacco use, and other factors. Depending on whether you are in your initial Open Enrollment or other Special enrollment period, you may or may not have to answer medical questions on the application. Finding the lowest price isn't always the best option either. You need to look at a company's history for rate increases and also how long they have been in the market.
Will I get a rate increase? As far as rate increases go, each carrier is different. Companies cannot raise your rates based on your health history. They can increase rates overall for everyone based on inflation, claims experience etc. Rate increases can range anywhere from 0-8%, sometimes higher, but in the past couple of years the carriers have become more competitive averaging 3-5%. Plan F historically has larger rate increases than Plan G (Part of the reason: carriers have more claims experience with Plan F, people use the plan more knowing they can go to the doctor anytime without paying a $203 Part B deductible in 2021).
How much does a Medicare Supplement plan cost? The best way to find this out is to work with an experienced agent who offers all of the plans with the top companies in your area, not just one specific company. They can offer unbiased advice and find the best plan to fit your needs. And it won’t cost you any more to use an agent, prices are the same as buying direct from the insurance company. You get a free benefit of agent support and their ability to shop the market for you. Not all companies are the same when it comes to rate increases. We use special market analytic software that provides us with the most up to date information on each company.
To contact us please call (800) 783-5901 or send an email to Info@usamedicareplan.com