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What is Medicare?

It’s time for retirement planning and you ask, “What is Medicare all about?” Medicare coverage is a health insurance program managed by the federal government for people who are age 65 or older. Is there Medicare for the disabled? Yes, younger people with disabilities can qualify.

There are several parts to Medicare Coverage:

Medicare Part A is hospitalization, skilled nursing care and some home health care services. Generally, there is no cost for Medicare Part A.

Medicare Part B insurance covers doctors, outpatient healthcare, medical supplies and preventive care. Typically the cost for Medicare Part B is about $105 monthly.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare Part A & Medicare Part B cover a large part of your health care needs, but include deductibles and coinsurance. Medicare coverage alone is much more affordable healthcare than the under 65 health insurance plans that you may have had previously, but can leave you exposed to huge uncovered medical costs. That’s why it is so important, when retirement planning, to supplement or fill the gap with a Medicare Supplement Plan or an Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C) and a prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D).

Medicare Supplement Plans can vary from very low cost basic hospitalization and preventive services (Medicare Plan A), to much more complete healthcare coverage like Medicare Plan F, which includes coverage for deductibles and coinsurance at higher prices that can protect your finances and estate as well (important for retirement planning). Medicare is the primary payer for your healthcare services and the insurance company pays the balance or gap depending on the plan that you select.

Medicare Advantage Plans act differently, but can offer large savings over Medicare Supplements. It is important to understand the differences. With Medicare Advantage Plans, the insurance company pays the providers. Monthly costs are lower, but the rules are also different. Typically you need to use their network of providers so it is important to be sure that your providers are included in their provider network. An agent can check the companies offering Medicare Advantage plans and identify which company will best fit your needs. Some companies have small networks and some have larger networks and some will even cover you when you travel for extended periods, allowing you to use national networks for care even if it is not urgent or emergency care. With Medicare Advantage Plans you will have some cost sharing like copays or some coinsurance, but can save several hundred dollars each year in many cases. Some also include prescription coverage (Medicare Part D) with premiums as low as $20/month. Great retirement planning strategy, if your health is good.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans is the last part of Medicare Health Insurance Plans to consider. As earlier mentioned, prescription drug coverage is sometimes included in Medicare Advantage Plans.  Typically, prescription coverage is not included in Medicare Supplement Plans so you can select a standalone Medicare Part D prescription Drug Plan. The cost of prescription drugs can be very high. Prescription Drug plans can make your costs far more manageable. Medicare Part D plans in New Hampshire start at about $15/month. It is important to know that you can only join a Medicare Part D drug plan when you first become eligible for Medicare Coverage or during open enrollment in the late fall, for coverage to begin the following January. Each year you can change plans to the most suitable plan for you.

At Free Agents NH, we can help you select the most suitable Medicare Coverage for
“your needs” and also help you change Medicare plans if your needs change.
Let us help you with Medicare Coverage and during your retirement planning!
We service all of New Hampshire; with offices in Windham and Laconia.


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