Infinitive Benefits

CONNECT

Address:

185 Fairfield Avenue, Suite 1-C
West Caldwell, NJ 07006

Phone:

732-499-8026 or TollFree: 877-614-1279

Fax/Other:

732-377-8733

10 Tips for Medicare

1. Medicare is divided into a few main parts, each of which requires a separate enrollment.

Part A covers inpatient care, nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care.Part B covers medical services, outpatient care, home health care, medical equipment. and many preventive services. And Part D covers prescription drugs. It’s important to let your clients know monthly premiums apply to Part B and Part D.

2. Although it covers a lot, Medicare doesn’t cover everything.

Among the services it does not cover are most dental care; eye examinations related to prescribing glasses; dentures; cosmetic surgery; hearing aids; and long-term care. Supplemental health insurance, and in some cases Medicaid, can help cover these costs. Discuss with your clients which options work best for them.

3. Another option is a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C, these Medicare-approved private health insurance company plans combine Part A and Part B and generally may offer additional benefits, such as vision, dental, hearing, and prescription drug coverage. These plans often have networks, which mean you may have to see certain doctors and go to certain hospitals in the plan’s network to get care covered by Medicare.

4. Remind your clients to enroll on time to avoid penalties.

In general, your clients need to sign up during the seven-month window that opens three months before the month they turn 65 and closes three months after their birthday. If they’re already collecting Social Security, they will be automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B.

5. Working clients (or spouses) may want to delay Part B.

If your client or their spouse is still working, it may be to their advantage to delay Part B. It’s important to note that if your client is covered through their own or their spouse’s employer, they may not need to enroll in Part B. In fact, if they’re collecting Social Security and covered by an employer plan, they will actually need to take action to not enroll in Part B.

6. Even if they wait for Social Security, they may want Medicare.

If your client is waiting until after 65 to take Social Security benefits, they need to remember to enroll for the parts of Medicare that they may want. That way they can avoid costly late-enrollment penalties.

7. Potential to lower Part B premiums.

You can help your clients manage their retirement income and potentially lower what they pay for Part B premiums. For example, discuss different options for limiting their gross income that might make sense for your client’s situation. Remember, in 2017, married couples with a modified adjusted gross income of $170,000 and up pay higher premiums.Why pay more?

8. Stay covered beyond home.

Remind your clients to check whether their plans’ coverage extends beyond their local area. By doing so, they’ll ensure there are no surprises if they need health care while traveling to see family or on that long-awaited vacation. Medicare generally doesn’t cover health care outside the U.S. (this includes cruise ships).

9. HSAs can help with healthcare expenses.

Your clients can use Health Savings Account (HSA) funds to pay for Medicare Part B and Part D premiums or other qualifying healthcare expenses. Because Part A coverage can start six months back from when they apply for it, Medicare.gov suggests new participants stop contributing to an HSA at least six months before applying to Medicare to avoid tax penalties. There are Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans from private insurance companies that offer a high-deductible insurance plan with a medical savings account, similar to a health savings account.  Medicare gives the account an amount of money each year for health care, and money left in the account at the end of the year stays in the account and may be used for health care costs in future years.

10. Find the plan that works best for them.

If your clients are unhappy with their  coverage, they can shop around and switch plans during annual open enrollment periods. They can switch from Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to a Medical Advantage Plan offered by a private insurer or vice versa, or they can switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another. They also could make changes to their prescription drug coverage. Let your clients know they don’t have to keep a plan that doesn’t meet their needs.

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