On Your Side: Your Medicare questions

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:30 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Medicare enrollment deadline is Wednesday and On Your Side is answering your Medicare questions.

There were plenty of questions this year about TV ads that claim your benefits are tied to your zip code.

“Everything that they are offering -- dental, vision, that is going to be tied with your network,” said Jennifer Tennison, with Senior Age. “In that response, yes. It’s important you are picking a plan with your zip code, but in reference to the money back in your pocket, those are all additional benefits. Mostly, what they are really targeting is the Part B Premium. The back in your pocket, that’s actually a Medicaid program.”

Robin asked: I just turned 65 in October. I am not retiring until March 2024. I will stay on my company’s health care until I retire. Do I need to do anything right now?

“People can choose to stay on employer coverage instead of Medicare,” said Tennison. “Social Security will still want them to take Part A because it’s premium free. You paid into it your working career. But you can opt out of B under three criteria. Actively working, your employer has to have at least twenty employees and their coverage has to be as good as or better than Medicare coverage.”

Carol said: My husband is turning 65 in May, therefore he will be enrolled in Medicare A and B on May 1st. We are looking for a supplement insurance that includes prescriptions.

“A supplement is also sometimes referred to as a Medigap,” said Tennison. Those cost more each month and have a higher premium because you are paying to get health care where you choose. They are not network driven. With those, you get a standalone drug plan. Then there’s the Advantage Plan that you see advertised on TV like crazy. That automatically includes drug coverage and those additional benefits, dental and vision.”

Jane asked: Do I have to choose now before turning 65?

“I tell people to avoid those mailings,” said Tennison. “Don’t call people you see on TV. Deal with someone local who you can trust. We offer a new to Medicare class they can do before they turn 65, a couple of months before. Don’t stress about it, because you can’t enroll in anything prior to receiving Medicare.”

After enrolling you should get your new card in about two weeks. At least by January first. Again, the deadline to enroll is Wednesday. If you have not started the process head to the Social Security website and create login.

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