SeniorJournal.com - Daily News for Senior Citizens

  FRONT PAGE Aging • Health • Alzheimer's - Mental • Nutrition • Medicare & Medicaid Politics  • Fitness  • Social Security • Alerts • Sex Health • Features • Retirement  Elder Care  >Search  >Senior Links

[NavBar.htm]

Senior Journal: Today's News and Information for Senior Citizens & Baby Boomers

More Senior Citizen News and Information Than Any Other Source - SeniorJournal.com

• Go to more on Medicare or Medicare Drug Program More Senior News at SeniorJournal.com on the Front Page

 
 
Follow on  and 

E-mail this page to a friend!

Medicare News

Medicare’s ABCs: Many Senior Citizens in Program for Years May Not Know Ins and Outs

Understanding the parts of Medicare matters, especially when it comes to premiums and enrollment; below are the basics

Aug. 31, 2011 - We’re proud of our grandchildren as they grow in knowledge, such as when they first learn their ABC’s. Unfortunately, when we qualify for Medicare, we discover that we have to learn our ABCs all over again, and it’s a lot tougher this time around.

Even folks who’ve had Medicare for years don’t know all the ins and outs. And those who will soon be getting Medicare can find the whole thing very confusing. Here are some of the basics.

Who gets Medicare? Medicare provides health insurance for 47 million seniors and people with disabilities. Almost half of the people with Medicare have limited incomes, and nearly as many have multiple health problems, like diabetes or high blood pressure.

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Medigap Changes Meet Resistance from States, Insurers, Consumer Advocates

Some seniors may forego medically necessary care because they can't afford it -- even though they have a Medigap policy - Aug. 30, 2011

Senior Citizens May See Changes in Medicare Medigap Policies


AARP Endorses Bill to Improve Value of Medigap Policies for Consumers - See in box


By Julie Appleby, KHN Staff Writer

July 26, 2011 - As debt limit talks drag on, lawmakers are eying possible changes in Medicare supplemental plans - moves that could increase seniors’ out-of-pocket costs. Read more...


Medicare Advantage Programs Overwhelm Senior Citizens with Complex Choices

Elderly often have to sift through dozens of options; those with cognitive problems might benefit most from MA - Aug. 18, 2011

Over Two Million Low-Income Seniors May Be Missing Big Savings on Drugs

Medicare’s Low-Income Subsidy is easy to check for eligibility, says CMS

Aug. 9, 2011

Average Cost of Medicare Drug Plans Will Not Increase in 2012, Discounts for Donut Hole

‘Obama Care’ has provided 17 million seniors with free preventive services; 900,000 received 50% discount on prescription drugs

Aug. 5, 2011

More Senior Citizens Using Free Medicare Preventive Care; New Push by CMS Begins

Campaign to educate seniors about new free preventive care provided by Affordable Care Act; Over 780,000 received Annual Wellness Visit between January 1 - June 10 - see video. - June 23, 2011

Medicare Introduces Shared Savings Program with New Accountable Care Organizations

ACOs will be joint health care effort for better patient care at lower costs, says CMS - April 2, 2011

Lowering the Co-Pays for Mental Health Care Does Not Move Senior Citizens to Seek Help

Seniors in Medicare Advantage plans not motivated by rather large increases or decreases in co-pays for outpatient mental health care - Feb. 8, 2011


 
 

Read the latest news
> Medicare
> Senior Politics
>
Today's Headlines

> Medicare Drug Program prior to 2009

 

About 80 percent of people with Medicare have outpatient and hospital coverage directly from the federal government (sometimes called “original Medicare”).

The rest have coverage through Medicare Advantage--plans that are run by private insurers that contract with the federal government. Private plans must provide at least the same benefits as original Medicare, and most provide prescription drug coverage. People in original Medicare can also purchase a separate prescription drug plan from a private insurer.

Generally, if you or your spouse worked enough years to qualify for Social Security benefits, you will qualify for Medicare. Eligibility for seniors begins when you turn 65. If you have a disability, you become eligible for Medicare 24 months after you have been awarded Social Security disability.

What are the ABCs? Medicare’s structure can be confusing. Original Medicare is divided into three parts: A, B, and D. Medicare Part A covers hospitalization. Medicare Part B covers outpatient care, like doctors’ visits. Part D covers prescription drugs through private prescription drug plans. What about Part C? Part C is the official name for the Medicare Advantage program.

Understanding the parts of Medicare matters, especially when it comes to premiums and enrollment. Most people who receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits receive Part A automatically and have no premium. But, in order to receive outpatient (Part B) and prescription drug (Part D) coverage, you must sign up when you become eligible—or you’ll have to pay a penalty.

Both Parts B and D charge premiums that are usually deducted from enrollees’ Social Security benefits (Part D premiums can also be paid directly to the plan).  High-income beneficiaries (those with incomes above $85,000 for an individual or $170,000 for a couple) must pay higher premiums. Low-income people can qualify for Part D Extra Help or Medicaid that cover some or all of Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs.

Some people who work past age 65 may not have to take Medicare when they turn 65. But they need to be careful: Once they leave their job, they need to sign up for Medicare right away to avoid any late enrollment penalties. People who work for smaller employers (those with fewer than 20 employees) need to sign up for Medicare at age 65 to avoid these penalties

When you first sign up for Medicare, you can choose either original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. Every fall, you have the option to keep your plan or choose a new plan for the following year. This year, the enrollment period is earlier than in previous years: It will begin on October 15 and run until December 7 (for plan choices that go into effect on January 1, 2012).

Medicare provides a guaranteed set of benefits to everyone who qualifies. This includes hospitalization, outpatient visits, lab tests, and prescription drug coverage. Like any insurance policy, it has some areas where coverage is excellent and some areas where coverage is weaker.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (the new health care law), preventive benefits and prescription drug coverage are now significantly better. Most preventive services are available without copayments, and the coverage gap (the “doughnut hole”) in Part D is closing.

However, most people will still need some kind of supplemental coverage, either from a former employer, Medicaid, or from a private supplemental (or “Medigap”) policy.

If you have questions about Medicare, there are a lot of free resources than can help you. Start by visiting the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. In addition, every state has a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) that provides free, personalized counseling to anyone with Medicare.

You can ask for a referral to your local SHIP by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. If you’re getting close to turning 65 or approaching the end of your 24-month waiting period, or even if you’ve had Medicare for many years, it’s always a good idea to understand what your coverage options are.

 

Financial Relief for Volkswagen Diesel Owners

You may be eligible for money damages if you owned or leased one of these VW, Porsche or Audi vehicles.

In the major scandal of 2015, Volkswagen cheated you and the world. They rigged diesel emission controls so you, nor regulators, would know how much pollution their cars were adding to our environment.

They were caught and have reserved $7.3 billion to help "make it right" with victims.

If you owned or leased one of these vehicles, contact us now.

 Beth Janicek, Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney Janicek Law attorneys are actively pursuing these cases against VW. Do Not Wait...

Janicek Law Firm, PC

Free Consultation

(Call toll free)

1-877-795-3425 or Email

Vehicles Involved

VW Jetta (2009–2015)

VW Jetta SportWagen (2009–2014)

VW Golf (2010-2015)

VW Golf SportWagen (2015)

VW Beetle (2012–2015)

VW Passat (2012-2015)

Audi A3 (2010-2015)

VW Touareg (2009–2016)

Porsche Cayenne (2015)

Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 Quattro (2016)

 

Search for more about this topic on SeniorJournal.com

Google Web SeniorJournal.com

Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens, baby boomers

Click to More Senior News on the Front Page

Copyright: SeniorJournal.com

    

 

Published by New Tech Media - www.NewTechMedia.com

Other New Tech Media sites include CaroleSutherland.com, BethJanicek.com, SASeniors.com, DrugDanger.com, etc.