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Critical Illness/Heart Coverage

Last week on the Weekly Wednesday we gave you some statistics on Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer and how they are some of the top causes of death in America. Not only are those some of America’s top killers along with some other diseases like Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Some of the most common ones affect your memory. So, are you prepared if that time comes? These aren’t the type of things you can afford to put off.

Call us today, 844-437-4253 so we can let you know about our Critical Advantage Portfolio. We will make sure you have the right amount of coverage in case tragedy strikes. 

Cancer, Heart Attack, and Stroke

Cancer, heart attack and stroke are three of the top four causes of death in America. With today being World Cancer Day and February is National Heart Awareness Month, what better time to ask yourself, “If one of those happened to me would I be covered?” Half of all men and one out of three women will develop some form of cancer in their life. 920,000 Americans will have a heart attack this year alone.
Medicare will cover a lot of the medical costs incurred by these, but all three of these diseases carry non-medical costs that can greatly affect your recovery. At Senior Benefit Inc. we offer several different plans to help you off-set these costs. All of our plans are lump-sum payout on 1st diagnosis. This lump-sum payout can help you offset the cost of travel, prescriptions, experimental treatment, missed time from work as well as much more.

Reach out to us TODAY to make sure you have the coverage you need to allow you the care you want! 844.437.4253

General Enrollment Period

General Enrollment Period runs from January 1st– March 31st each year, this is when you can sign up for Part A and/or Part B.  This Enrollment Period applies to you if:

When you sign up during the General Enrollment Period your coverage will start July 1. Because you missed the correct time period to enroll you may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in Part A 1 and/or a higher premium for late enrollment in Part B2. If you have any questions, call us at 844.437.4253 and our Senior Benefits Coordinator can help you! 

1 Some people have to buy Part A because they don’t qualify for premium-free Part A. If you have to buy Part A, and you don’t buy it when you’re first eligible for Medicare, your monthly premium may go up 10% for each 12-month period you could’ve had Part A, but didn’t sign up. You’ll have to pay the higher premium for twice the number of years you didn’t sign up. 

If you didn’t get Part B when you’re first eligible, your monthly premium may go up 10% for each 12-month period you could’ve had Part B, but didn’t sign up. In most cases, you’ll have to pay this penalty each time you pay your premiums, for as long as you have Part B. And, the penalty increases the longer you go without Part B coverage. Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you meet certain conditions that allow you to sign up for Part B during a Special Enrollment Period. If you have limited income and resources, your state may help pay for Part A, and/or Part B. You may also qualify for Extra Help to pay for your Medicare prescription drug coverage.

Special Enrollment Period (Special circumstances)

If you didn’t sign up for Medicare Part B (or Part A if you have to buy it) during your Initial Enrollment Period, you may have another period known as the Special Enrollment Period. This period is set up for those that are covered under a group health plan (with 20 or more employees) based on current employment (yourself, your spouse, or a family member’s (if you have a disability)). You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B:

  • Anytime you’re still covered by the group health plan
  • During the 8-month period that begins the month after the employment ends or the coverage ends, whichever happens first

Remember coverage based on current employment doesn’t include:

  • COBRA
  • Retiree coverage
  • VA coverage
  • Individual health coverage (like through the Health Insurance Marketplace)

*Normally you won’t have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up during a Special Enrollment Period

If you just had your 65th birthday or getting ready to you are in your Initial Enrollment Period:

Read more here about your Initial Enrollment Period.

**Private Insurance companies will referrer to Open Enrollment as being when you first sign up for Part B of Medicare. During this time, you do not answer health questions on your Medicare Supplement Insurance application.

Initial Enrollment Period

Your Initial Enrollment Period (Open Enrollment¹) is when you can first sign up for Original Medicare (Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Part B (Medical Insurance)). It is a 7-month period that begins 3-months before the month you turn 65 and ends 3-months after the month you turn 65.

If you sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the first 3-months of your Initial Enrollment Period, in most cases, your coverage will start on the first day of your birthday month.

Some people have to sign up for Part A and/or Part B:

If you’re close to 65, but not getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits, you’ll need to sign up for Medicare. Contact Social Security 3-months before you turn 65.

Some people get Part A and Part B automatically:

If you’re already getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits, you’ll automatically get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65. (If your birthday is on the first day of the month, Part A and Part B will start the first day of the prior month)

 

¹Private Insurance companies will referrer to Open Enrollment as being when you first sign up for Part B of Medicare. During this time, you do not answer health questions on your Medicare Supplement Insurance application.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP)

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) is back and has some new changes with the New Year. MADP is now known as the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP), which begins today, January 1st, now ends March 31st. (MADP only ran from January 1st through February 14st.)

During this time you can: 

  1. You can disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan; you will be returning to Original Medicare, meaning that you will go back to your Original Part A and B of Medicare. At this time, you will be able to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan and/or a Prescription Drug Plan.
  2. You can change from one Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage) to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage). During this time, you can only make this change once.


MAOEP is different from the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15th through December 7th. During MAOEP, you cannot get a Prescription Drug Plan unless you are disenrolling from a Medicare Advantage Plan. Remember, at any time of the year; you can change from one Medicare Supplement Plan to another (there may be underwriting questions). MAOEP is also different from the Initial Coverage Election Period; this is the period when you first become Medicare Eligible (there are no underwriting questions for a Medicare Supplement Plan during this period). 

If you have any questions, call us at 844.437.4253 and our Senior Benefits Coordinator can help you!

Review Your Medicare Supplement during AEP

This time of year is busy with Medicare’s Fall Annual Enrollment Period so we took a short break from The Weekly Wednesday but this week we are back! Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is going on now and ends December 7th; this is a great time to have your Medicare Supplement reviewed. If you are new to Medicare and did not know rates increase every year. It’s always a good idea to have your rate and coverage reviewed. To have your plan reviewed give us a call at 844.437.4253.  

Part D of Medicare (Drug Coverage)

Now that the Annual Enrollment Period has begun it’s a great time to dive into the topic of Part D of Medicare. Part D is known as your drug coverage. Part D is an optional benefit offered through Medicare if/when you are eligible for Medicare. (You can get a drug plan as long as you have part A of Medicare) If you do not get a Prescription Plan when you sign up for Medicare you will possibly be penalized in the future when you do decide to sign up. The only reason you would not be penalized is if you have another Prescription Plan form a creditable place or if you receive extra help from a government program. When you go on to Medicare you are not required to purchase a prescription plan, but if you do not have creditable coverage and decide to sign up for Part D at a later date you will receive a permanent penalty of roughly 32 cents per month for each month you didn’t have coverage. Also Part D plans can only be purchased during your open enrollment period or during annual enrollment period.

If you are penalized you will be required to pay this as long as you have a Prescription Plan through Medicare. A Prescription Plan can be included with an Advantage Plan but must be purchased separately if you have Original Medicare or Original Medicare with a Supplement. 

What to Know About AEP

The Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15th and this is when you can change government ran plans. If you have not heard of AEP or are new to Medicare you will soon know this period well. AEP begins October 15th and ends December 7th and is a period of time that occurs once a year. 
During this time you are able to switch from Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage Plan, to Original Medicare Part A and B or vice versa. This is also the time to sign up for Part D which is your drug coverage or switch a Part D plan. This is also a great time to have your Medicare (Medigap) Supplement Plan reviewed but you can also have your supplement planned reviewed at any time not just during AEP. For more information or help give us a call at 844.437.4253 Toll-Free.

Do You Know What to Pay for Part B and D of Medicare?

Last week on the Weekly Wednesday we discussed Medicare and what all it covers and costs. To go more in depth on that topic we will be discussing Medicare Part B and Part D.

Part B has a monthly premium based on your income. The chart below will help you to break down what you can expect to pay for your monthly premium.

Part B also has an annual deductible of $185 (2019) that we discussed in last week’s Weekly Wednesday.

Part D which is also known as your drug coverage is also income-based. You can use the chart below to learn more about your monthly premium for your Part D.

For more information or understanding Medicare better give us a call at 844.437.4253.