Tag Archives: Medicare

How to enroll in Medicare online

How to Enroll in Medicare Online

Where do I go and what information will I need to enroll for Medicare online?

Basic steps to enroll in Medicare online:

  1.  You will want to create and account at Social Security.  Go to www.ssa.gov
  2.  You will need your basic information (name, address, social, date of birth, etc).  You may need your driver’s license and or proof of citizenship as well.
  3.  You will want to decide before enrolling what you will enroll in.  You can enroll in Medicare only (and not draw social security payments), or Medicare Part A only, or Medicare Part A & Part B.

If you miss your time to enroll, you risk a Part B premium surcharge or penalty.

You are eligible to enroll in Medicare online if:

  • You are at least 64 years and 9 months old;
  • You do not currently have ANY Medicare coverage;
  • You do not want to start receiving Social Security benefits at this time; and
  • You are not currently receiving Social Security retirement, disability or survivors benefits.

Q: When do I need to enroll in Medicare online?

A: Enrolling in Medicare online is easy.   Your initial enrollment period (IEP) for Medicare lasts seven months.  It begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after that month. During those seven months, you can sign up for Medicare online. It is fairly simple and should take less than 15-20 minutes.

Steps for Enrolling in Medicare online

There are other ways to enroll in Medicare, you don’t have to enroll online however if you want to save time, online is probably the best way to go.

  1.  First, you will want to create an account on the Social Security Administration’s web site. You don’t have to sign up to receive Social Security benefits now if that is not your plan.  You will be asked if you want to enroll in Medicare Only or both during the signup process.
  2.  Second, you will enter in your basic info such as name, address, and telephone number, and of course you will need your Social Security number. You may need additional information to help identify you, such as your birth certificate, driver’s license, or proof of U.S. citizenship if you weren’t born in the U.S.

Q:  Do I enroll in Medicare’s Part A or Part A and Part B?

A:  This is a tricky question because there are a lot of factors that may come into play.  Part A pays for hospital care, and Parts B pays for outpatient and physician services. Part B covers things like office visits, preventive care, and lab work, but it also covers services such as chemotherapy, radiation, and kidney dialysis.

Part A is free (as long as you have worked enough calendar quarters), however you will pay a premium to enroll in Part B.  If you are still working and/or you are covered by a group health plan through your employer, it may be to your advantage to enroll in Part A only, which doesn’t charge a premium. If your spouse is the one with the group coverage, you will need their employment information to complete the application.   The rule is, as long as you are still working and have creditable group health coverage, you don’t need to worry about the Part B premium surcharge, it is waived.  You will have a special enrollment period to sign up for Medicare later on.

Q:  I didn’t enroll on time, what is the Part B Premium surcharge penalty?

A:  If you missed your initial enrollment period (IEP) to sign up, you can do so later on. The surcharge penalty is calculated like this: For each 12-month period you’re eligible for coverage but don’t apply, you’ll risk a 10% surcharge on your Part B premiums.

Enrolling on time not only saves you money, but ensure that you have coverage when you need it.

For more help on the enrollment process for Medicare online, call us at 877-740-8683 or email info@fbsagency.com  We will be happy to assist and get you in the right direction.

MACRA

What is MACRA

MACRA is the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This act changes some of the Medicare supplement plans that are available for people who are new to Medicare.

Basically, if you become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, you will no longer be able to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan that covers the Part B deductible.

How does this affect you?

Read the 2020_MACRA FLYER to see how this may affect you …

Have Questions on MACRA?

Contact us today toll free 877-740-8683 or via email info@fbsagency.com

MedicareChanges2016

2016 Changes to Medicare

The 2016 Changes to Medicare were found throughout the parts of Medicare.  Since most people do not pay a Part A premium, that change is kind of irrelevant.  There were some changes to what you pay under Part A deductible and coinsurance but none as noteworthy as the Part B changes.  The Part B deductible and Part B premium both changed in 2016.  View the chart below to see the exact differences.

2016-changes-to-medicare

Please note … The standard Part B premium amount if you enroll after 2016 is $121.80 (or higher depending on your income).  However, most people who get Social Security benefits will continue to pay the same Part B premium amount as they paid in 2015. This is because there wasn’t a cost-of-living increase for 2016 Social Security benefits.

You’ll pay a different Part B premium amount if:

You enroll in Part B for the first time in 2016.
You don’t get Social Security benefits.
You’re directly billed for your Part B premiums.
You have Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicaid pays your premiums. (Your state will pay the standard premium amount of $121.80.)
Your modified adjusted gross income as reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago is above a certain amount.

How will the 2016 Changes to Medicare effect me?

The 2016 changes to Medicare may effect each person differently.  If you only have Original Medicare, then your overall out-of-pocket costs will be greater.  If you have a Plan F, you may see your actual supplement premium increased.  If you have a Plan C, G, or any other plan that didn’t pay the Part B deductible …  your premium may not have increased as much, but you will notice when you go to the doctor you will pay a little more the first of the year over what you paid last year.   If you have Part C, or a Medicare Advantage Plan, then you may see changes when the plan renews for next year.  Regardless of the specifics, the 2016 changes to Medicare will have some effect on everyone who is on Medicare currently or who will be enrolling.

Need more information?

If you would like to shop for Medicare Supplemental Plans or need help with Medicare give us a call, we will be happy to help 877-740-8683 or locally 936-756-6199.

Plan F Plan G

Medicare Supplement Plan F or Plan G

“That is the real question, which Medicare Supplement Plan do I go with?” Bob said. “Plan F or Plan G? They both look the same.” “Good question.” I told him. Then I began to explain as I do to all the folks I talk to who ask this same question. It’s funny how in the end, they always seem to agree and make the same decision because it just makes $ense.

Here is the deal. Plan F has been the most popular plan in the Medicare Supplement Market for years. Mainly because it is simple to understand; most people have almost no out of pocket costs other than what they pay each month for the plan. If Medicare pays, then the Medicare Supplement pays. Some people even say the “F” stands for “Full coverage”. However, “Full coverage” as we all know, comes at a price, and sometimes it isn’t the best “bang for your buck”.

Plan F and Plan G are identical, the ONLY difference is, on Plan G you have to pay for the Medicare Part B deductible. Therefore, Plan G is becoming more and more popular, mainly because of the cost. If you look at the graph below, the Part B deductible has not changed in the past 3 years.

PART B DEDUCTIBLE HISTORY

In 2010 Part B deductible was $155
In 2011 Part B deductible was $162
In 2012 Part B deductible was $140
In 2013 Part B deductible was $147
In 2014 Part B deductible was $147
In 2015 Part B deductible was $147

Even though the Part B deductible hasn’t changed much in the past 5 years (in fact it’s lower than it was in 2011), Plan F prices have steadily been increasing every year. Basically, for 4 years people with Plan F have been paying more for a benefit that hasn’t changed.

When you look at the actual numbers, the Medicare Part B deductible breaks down to around $12 per month ($147 / 12 months). So if a Plan F costs $12 more than a Plan G per month for you, then you are paying too much!!! Make $ense??

In some areas, we see a Plan F for a customer and a Plan G be as much as $40 difference! So tell me, if Progressive or Geico told you that you could save $480 per year in premium and only add $147 in your deductible, would you be willing to make that change? Of course you would, because it makes $ense.

So after quoting Bob Plan F @ $187.39 per month and Plan G @ $157.35 per month … I said to Bob … “I always give folks the choice by showing them the price difference and let them make the decision … which plan do YOU think you should go with?” Without hesitation Bob blurted “Well I would be dumb to not go with Plan G!” Bob is a smart man. Over 90% of our customers go with Plan G, however if you are willing to give an insurance company $200-$400 in trade for $147, then we won’t mind helping you do that.

medicare open enrollment

2016 Medicare Open Enrollment

Most people don’t realize that the 2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Dates only apply to people who are wanting to make changes to their Medicare Advantage (Part C of Medicare) and prescription drug plan (Part D of Medicare). Each year, open enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7. Therefore in 2016 it will begin on October 15, 2015. That is the time for you to shop around for a new Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C of Medicare) or a new Prescription Drug plan (Part D of Medicare).

So first of, to be clear, as far as enrolling in Medicare, you can do that as soon as you are eligible … no matter what month it is. Most people become eligible when they turn 65, and begin enrolling in Part B up to 3 months before their 65th birthday month.

It is only during open enrollment that you can switch from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage (Part C of Medicare), or vice versa. Also, if you find that another Medicare Advantage plan (Part C of Medicare) will fit your needs, or has a broader network, you can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan (Part C of Medicare) to another. Same with a prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D), you can switch from one plan to another during open enrollment or drop your prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D) coverage altogether. However, you may incur penalties later on if you go without a prescription drug plan (Part D of Medicare) – we would not advise this. Especially since you can get prescription drug plans (Part D of Medicare) for generally under $20 a month.

Now for people who are on a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C of Medicare), who miss the open enrollment but who just want to go back to original Medicare, there is also a Medicare Advantage disenrollment period (MADP) that runs from January 1 to February 14 each year. At that time, you could opt to switch back to original Medicare and then sign up for a prescription only plan (Medicare Part D). Most people will do this if they are going from a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C of Medicare) to a Medicare Supplement Plan.

For 2015 coverage, open enrollment is over for Medicare. Medicare Advantage (Part C of Medicare) and prescription drug plans (Medicare Part D) ended on December 7, 2014, and the Medicare Advantage disenrollment period ended on February 14, 2015. Remember, you can enroll year-round in Medicare if you are newly-eligible.

For more information or to shop plans, visit us at www.emedigap411.com  call 877-740-8683 or email.