Medicare FAQ’s

What is Original Medicare?

Original Medicare began in the US on July 30, 1965 and includes Part A (Hospital Insurance), and Part B (Medical Insurance). Since there is minimal drug coverage in Part B you may want to join a separate Part D drug plan. Since A and B have deductibles and 20% coinsurance you can also buy supplemental coverage from private insurance companies to take care of what Parts A and B don’t cover.

When am I first eligible to sign up for Medicare?

There’s a seven month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the three months before your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday or three months after your 65th birthday.

If you’re under 65 and have a disability you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B after you’ve received Social Security Disability benefits for 24 months.

There are some special circumstances which might apply that don’t fall into the first two categories. I’m here to help explain them to you.

Should I get Part B?
This information can help you decide if you should get Part B.

Employer or union coverage: If you or your spouse (or family member if you have a disability) is still working and you have health coverage through that employer or union contact your employer or union benefits administrator to find out how your coverage works with Medicare. This includes federal or state employment and active-duty military service. It might be to your advantage to delay Part B enrollment.

Note: Remember, coverage based on current employment doesn’t include

  • COBRA
  • Retiree coverage
  • VA coverage
  • Individual health coverage (like through the Health Insurance Marketplace)
How do I get prescription drug coverage?

Medicare’s prescription drug plan is called Part D. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or Part B to enroll in Part D. Medicare drug coverage is only available through private plans. If you have Medicare Part A and/or Part B and you do not have other drug coverage (creditable coverage), you should enroll in a Part D plan. If you don’t sign up for a Part D prescription-drug plan when you become eligible for Medicare, you could face a lifetime penalty — unless you already have other coverage.

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan? (also known as Part C)

Medicare Advantage plans are an all in one alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A and B). They include Part A and B. Most Advantage plans also include drug coverage, eliminating the need for Part D. They also offer extra benefits such as eye and dental coverage, free gym memberships, etc. Most, but not all Advantage plans in California have ZERO monthly premiums.

What are Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies?

Medicare supplement policies are sold by private insurance companies. Supplemental policies are identified by letters . . . A through D, F, G, and K through N. They have monthly premiums and standardized benefits. For example, all plan G’s, no matter who the insurance company is, has the exact same benefits. Costs may be different, but benefits are the same. These plans do not include drug coverage. You’ll have to purchase a Part D plan to round out your coverage.

How much does it cost to work with you?

There is NEVER a cost to work with me. I’m an Independent Insurance Broker and get paid by the insurance companies. The commissions are set. It doesn’t matter what carrier you choose, I get paid the same. There is no favoritism or bias on what plans I recommend for you.