Kabco Benefits is here for you to assist in the Annual Election Period (AEP) Season. This is the time from October 15th through December 7th when ALL people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2014. The plan changes will be effective 1/1/2014. Let’s talk a bit about different choices people have and why they would change.
Medicare Part A covers Hospital and Medicare Part B covers Medical Care. Usually medicare has some deductibles and co insurances. Part B typically covers 80% of medical expenses like doctor visits after the deductible. Well that can add up real fast!
Someone should be enrolled in both before they get a supplement or advantage plan.
Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage Plans MA or when they come with a prescription plan attached are called MA PD. They are very low cost and work with Medicare but you are subject to the rules of the plan and their list of doctors and copays and deductibles. That’s the trade off for the low premium, many thousands of people have enrolled but NOW is the time to change if you want to switch from one to the other. January is the disenrollment period if you want to leave the Medicare Advantage Plans.
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. This is a federally sponsored plan that is sold by many different carriers. If you don’t enroll when you are first eligible you will pay a higher fee. Premiums are usually very low, but you must check the list of formulary to see if the drugs you take are in it. Even if you don’t take any prescriptions now most advisors will tell you to enroll for the future because as you age you might need them later on in life. Also there is a coverage gap in the plan. Once you and your plan have reached $2,960 you will fall into the gap. Then once you hit $4,700 you are in the catastrophic phase where you will pay only a very small percentage of costs.
Medicare Supplement Plans or “medigap” plans work with Medicare and usually cover what original medicare does not cover like the deductibles and copays. This is at a higher cost than the advantage plans but you have a higher degree of freedom to go to any doctor that accepts medicare and can pick from any Federally mandated plans from A through N. Most popular is Plan F which covers everything medicare leaves off plus extra expenses that physicians charge over medicare allowed charges.