The Secrets of Medicare

(WHAT I WISH SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TOLD ME AT AGE 65)

Here are some general “good things to know about Medicare”:

-Any literature coming from CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) should be kept. Your Medicare card will come from CMS.

-Your Medicare card should come in the mail to you from CMS about 3 months prior to your 65th birthday. If you haven’t received your card within 2 months of your 65th birthday, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to order your card.

-If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your Medicare Part B coverage will start the first day of the prior month. If your birthday is not on the first day of the month, your Part B coverage starts on the first day of your birthday month.

-A Medicare supplement policy and a Medigap policy are the same thing.

-You have a six month Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) policy open enrollment period which starts the first month you are both 65 and enrolled in Part B.

This period gives you a guaranteed right to buy any Medigap policy sold in your state regardless of your health condition. Once this period starts, it cannot be delayed or replaced.

  • Medicare pays for the cost of health care that is medically necessary and reasonable.
  • Medicare generally does not cover health care while traveling outside of the U.S. (There are some exceptions)
  • Medicare does not pay for long-term care.
  • The number one question to answer regarding Medicare is: “Where do I want to go for health care when I am seriously ill?”

If I want to go to the doctors that the insurance company assigns to me in my provider directory, then I should be in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

If I want to go to the best doctor that I can find anywhere in the country, then I should be in Original Medicare with a Medicare supplement plan.

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