5 Important Medicare Facts

Are you edging closer to the age of being Medicare-eligible?  Do you know what to expect or how to enroll?  Caravus’ Individual Market specializes in senior services and guides individuals through the process.  

Below are five important facts everyone should know about Medicare.

1.  There are two main ways to obtain Medicare. You can choose Original Medicare (Parts A and B), which is provided by the federal government, or choose a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), which are offered through private insurance companies.

2.  With Original Medicare, you’ll pay a share of the cost. Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t pay for everything. You still pay a share of the cost in monthly premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance.

3.  Medicare supplement insurance helps limit out-of-pocket costs.  Since Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t pay for everything, Medicare supplement plans are available to help with some of the expenses that aren’t covered, like deductibles and co-insurance.

4.  Medicare Part D or prescription drug coverage helps limit costs.  As a Medicare member you can get optional prescription drug coverage.  However, please note, if you don’t have what is considered “creditable” Part D coverage you may be charged a penalty when enrolling at a later date.

  • You can enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan to go with your Original Medicare (Parts A and B) coverage or
  • You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan that includes prescription drug coverage.

5.  Enroll at the right time to avoid penalties. The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is your first chance to enroll in Medicare.  This period begins three months before your 65th birthday month, the month of your birthday, and the three months after your 65th birthday.

  • If you enroll before the month you turn 65, coverage starts on the first day of your birthday month.

With a Special Election Period (SEP), in some cases you may be able to enroll in, or switch, plans outside of the Initial or Open Enrollment Periods (IEP or AEP). This includes changes in your life situation, such as:

  • You retire and leave a health care plan through your employer or union.
  • You move out of your current health plan’s service area.

For more information on Caravus’ senior services, contact an individual market consultant at 314.621.1162.