Roger DeChristopherSo comes the time of year when it is time to sign your life away……literally! Putting the future of your health care in the hands of the Federal Government ….God help us all. Unfortunately it’s the only system we have, so like it or not this is it! I will try to get you through the trials and tribulations as painless as possible and try to explain it as simply as I can.

For new recipients to Medicare the annual enrollment period is from October 15th through December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day. To be eligible for Medicare you have to be turning 65 years of age or are considered disabled in the eyes of the Federal Government. It is also the time of year when you can review your benefits and make changes if needed, remember plans get tweaked every year so it might be a good idea to review your current plan to make sure it is still suitable and meeting your needs,

Ready?

Let’s start with Part A….. Ok Part A is for hospital inpatient care, most people do not pay a premium for Part A, you already paid for Part A out of your paycheck every time you got paid at work. There is a $1,288 deductible for each benefit period and co-insurance kicks in after a 60 day hospital stay.

Part B covers doctors, lab tests, surgeries and supplies like wheelchairs and walkers. It also covers preventative care and medically necessary services, mental health is also covered under Part B I think I’ll find that most useful..just kidding… The cost for Part B coverage is generally $104.90 dollars a month, but depending on your income the monthly premium can increase as high as $389.80 a month for incomes over $428,000 dollars. Just remember it is on a sliding scale depending on how high your income is. Premium payments for Part B can be deducted from your Social Security check or you can choose to be billed each month but that may increase your premium, remember you are dealing with the Federal Government where nothing is easy., for you anyway! ┬áMost important if you do not sign up for Part B when you are eligible you will pay a late enrollment fee for as long as you have part B.

Part C or Medicare Advantage Plans, may offer extra coverage like vision, hearing, dental and health wellness programs and most include Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage ( Part D ) You will usually pay a premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in addition to your Part B premium.

Part D Coverage is Prescription Drug Coverage and has a monthly premium that varies by plan, but higher income consumers may pay more. The amount you will pay for Part D deductibles, co-payments and or co-insurance varies by plan.

What you have read is an overview or the short version of Medicare, we can go into more detail in a confidential one on one meeting with you.

Medicare can be confusing, rules and regulations change every year and costs can change depending on your financial situation or by adding additional benefits which you may need. You have a short window to make huge decisions, for further clarification call our office at 520-975-0057 and we will answer all of your questions.

Peter DeChristopher

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