ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS
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Medicare2017.org Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about Medicare and this website.

Is Medicare2017.org a government website?

No. Medicare2017.org is privately-owned, and is not affiliated with government or endorsed by the government’s Medicare program. Medicare2017.org connects you with leading carriers and brokers offering Private Medicare Insurance.

What is Medicare?

There are two types of Medicare coverage: Medicare Part A and Part B, and Private Medicare Insurance.

Medicare Part A and Part B is offered by the federal government. It provides basic inpatient and outpatient health coverage. Part A is for inpatient or hospitalization coverage and Part B is for outpatient or doctor visit coverage. You must be 65 years or older to be eligible for Medicare. Those under 65 may qualify if they are disabled. Please visit ssa.gov or Medicare.gov to learn more about enrollment. You can also learn more about Medicare Part A and Part B here.

For those who need additional health coverage and benefits, Private Medicare Insurance is available to complement Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Learn more about the different types of Private Medicare plans here.

Does Medicare Part A and Part B provide enough coverage?

Only you can decide how much health care you need. That said, Private Medicare plans continue to be a viable choice for seniors looking to get more health benefits and additional coverage.

For those who regularly see the doctor, the out-of-pocket costs can add up if they only have Medicare Part A and Part B. Though buying additional coverage often comes with a monthly premium, many find that a Private Medicare plan can lower their total cost of health care, since they pay less for out-of-pocket costs. Private Medicare plans also generally place a maximum limit on these out-of-pocket fees, which can include deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

Keep in mind that Medicare Part A and Part B does not provide coverage for prescription drugs (outside of a hospital, if you are receiving inpatient services). Paying for prescription drugs without coverage might be expensive, especially for those who regularly need medication. Medicare Part A and Part B also does not cover vision, dental, hearing aids, long term care, and health care when traveling. Some of these benefits may be offered with private insurance.

How can I get Additional Medicare Coverage?

You can get additional health coverage, benefits, and protection from out-of-pocket costs by enrolling in a Private Medicare plan. You can compare your Private Medicare options with Medicare2017.org.

Who is eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B and when can I enroll?

U.S. citizens or permanent residents living in the U.S. for at least 5 years who are age 65 or older qualify for Medicare Part A and Part B if they have paid taxes for 10 working years. Those under 65 might be eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B if they are disabled.

Those who are 65 or older who have paid these taxes and currently receive benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you do not receive these benefits, are under 65, suffer from a disability, or have questions about your eligibility for Medicare Part A and Part B, check with the government or visit Medicare.gov.

For those who are not automatically enrolled, keep in mind that the Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare Part A and Part B begins 3 months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after you turn 65. If you miss the Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period, which begins January 1st and ends on March 31st in 2017. It is important not to miss the General Enrollment period, since you may have to pay a penalty, and you could have a higher premium for coverage. You may also be eligible to enroll during the Special Enrollment Period. Special Enrollment begins when you have certain life changes, such as moving or losing coverage. It lasts for a period of 8 months after the event occurred.

Who is eligible for Private Medicare Insurance and when can I enroll?

Those who are eligible for, or currently signed up with, Medicare Part A and Part B are generally also eligible for Private Medicare insurance.

Enrollment for Private Medicare insurance differs by the type of plan. For Medigap plans, the best time to enroll is during the Medigap Enrollment Period. This period begins on your 65th birthday and ends 6 months after you turn 65. If you miss this period, you may have to pay a higher premium for Medigap, so it is important to enroll within 6 months of turning 65.

For both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D, you can enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period, which begins 3 months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after you turn 65. You can also enroll during the annual Open Enrollment Period, which begins on October 15 and ends on December 7 in 2017. Open Enrollment is a great time to make changes to your existing plan, or switch to a new plan. If you miss these enrollment periods, you may still be eligible to enroll a plan if you have certain life changes, such as moving, or losing coverage. For Medicare Advantage, you may also still get a plan if a 5-star-rated plan becomes newly available in your state.

Learn more about the different enrollment periods here.

To start comparing Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D plans, please submit your zip code.

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