Texas Family Benefits specializes in individual, Medicare, and group health insurance in Houston as well as throughout the state of Texas.

It Is Fall 2017 and Time For Medicare For 2018

By admin on October 25, 2017 | Listed under Medicare | Leave a comment |

Well , it  is  October and the Medicare annual open enrollment  has started.

(10/15—–12/07/2017)

Every year open enrollment gives you the opportunity to review your existing Medicare coverage and, if you want to, change to a different plan for the following year. Use this period to:

  • Switch from one “stand-alone” Part D drug plan to another.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
  • Change from traditional Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage plan to traditional Medicare.
  • Enroll in a stand-alone Part D drug plan if you change from a Medicare Advantage plan to traditional Medicare.
  • Enroll in a stand-alone Part D drug plan for the first time if you voluntarily opted out of other drug coverage, such as coverage provided by a current or former employer.

In all cases, your new coverage begins Jan. 1. If you’re switching drug plans or Medicare Advantage plans, you do not need to actively “disenroll” from the one you are leaving — the act of enrolling in a new plan automatically cancels coverage under the old one. Similarly, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan but enroll in a stand-alone drug plan during open enrollment, this automatically cancels the old plan and also switches you to the traditional Medicare program for your medical benefits.

 

Joining a health or drug plan (info from Medicare.gov)

 

2018 Medicare coverage changes to be aware of for 2018 include:

Starting in April 2018, Medicare beneficiaries will begin receiving new Medicare ID cards that don’t have Social Security numbers on them. This change was announced in September 2017, and it’s an effort to combat identity theft and fraud. The new cards, which will be mailed out over the course of a year (all beneficiaries will have them by April 2019), will have randomly generated ID numbers instead of Social Security numbers. You can continue to use your current card until your new one arrives. Once it does, you’ll want to destroy and securely dispose of your old one, and begin using the new one instead.

Medicare supplement:

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)

Medigap is supplemental insurance to cover some of the “gaps” that Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) doesn’t cover. Medicare out-of-pocket costs can include deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Medigap policies are standardized by the federal government and sold by private insurance companies.

The benefits offered in every Medigap policy are standardized and can be easily compared between insurance carriers.     (see link)

To be eligible for a Medigap plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B (Original Medicare) and either be 65 or older, or have a disability.

The best time to enroll is during your open enrollment period. Your open enrollment period lasts for six months and begins on the first day of the month in which you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. During this time, insurance companies are not allowed to deny you a policy or increase your premiums because of pre-existing conditions.

Under 65?

Depending on the state, you may be eligible for Medigap if you are under the age of 65 and have been receiving some form of disability benefits for 24 months or have been diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Federal law does not require insurance companies to sell policies to those under the age of 65. Some states require that insurance companies must offer at least one Medigap plan to those under the age of 65.

 

Medicare Supplement Plan Options  (thank  you MOO= Mutual of Omaha.)

 

If a medicare supplement will work for you,  we recommend plans F or G. We need to talk about the companies you have to choose from.   Please  call to schedule a brief meeting and or lets talk over the phone.

Links

Medicare part A.

Medicare part B info and your cost. (for 2018)

Below you can compare the current income tiers against the 2018 income tiers. You will see how the higher income tiers have smaller amounts thereby making more people pay higher premiums in the future. The 2018 Part B premiums are not known at this time.

3 changes to Medicare in 2018 that you need to know – USA today (10/17/17)

2018 Medicare tiers

 

usatoday.com-3 changes to Medicare in 2018 that you need to know_2017_10_17 (r click to open this  pdf)

Medicare Part D Premiums Chart

To determine your Medicare cost for Part D drug plans, review the table below. It shows the amount that you will pay for Part D in 2017.

 

More on Part D or PDP – Monthly premium for drug plans. (Medicare.gov)

 

Medicare costs at a glance. (from Medicare.gov)

 

Links to – MyMedicare.gov  – a place for people on medicare to see your personal info.

Note you have to create a username and pass word.

Medicare Enrollment periods and When They Happen:

IEP = Initial enrollment period (when you  are  65 (note your birth month and 3 mo prior and 3 mo’s past for a total of 7 months to get signed up for medicare and any other coverage.)

SEP – special enrollment period for part B and  PDP or part D.

The SEP allows you to enroll in Part B without penalty beyond age 65 provided that you can show you have had group health insurance from an employer (or employers) for whom you or your spouse were still working since you turned 65. The SEP runs for eight months from the date you (or your spouse) stopped working. But you can enroll before this date to ensure unbroken health coverage. Your Part B coverage begins on the first of the month after you enroll.  (note rules for Part D or pdp coverage (ie Rx))

ADP – Annual  Disenrollment Period   (01/01-02/14)

GEP – General Enrollment Period (01/01–03/31).

SEP –  Special Enrollment Periods  are for Medicare Advantage and stand-alone drug plans.   There are a number of other SEPs available in specific circumstances:

See info on SEP’s – Via – Medicare.gov  and or call our office  (if you are in Texas)  or contact your insurance (medicare) agent.

Search – Medicare.gov -SEP-.

 

 

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