Articles about Medicare Advantage

Overview of Medicare

Overview of Medicare

If you're just starting to learn about Medicare, you're probably confused by the unhelpful names of Medicare pieces (Part A versus Part B versus Part D). Not only that, but you probably want someone to explain in a simple, clear way the main choices you need to make, and what you need to pay for Medicare. This article is a great place to start.

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Medicare Advantage vs Original Medicare: What are the pros and cons?

Medicare Advantage vs Original Medicare: What are the pros and cons?

Medicare Part A and Part B benefits are also provided through private insurance companies that are contracted by Medicare. These private plans are known as Medicare Advantage plans, and often come with additional costs and benefits. Read this article to learn more about the pros and cons of Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage.

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When can I add Part B to my Medicare?

When can I add Part B to my Medicare?

You typically are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65 years old if you are a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident for at least five consecutive years. You may also be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B if at any age, you qualify for disability and receive Social Security Administration (SSA) or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits.

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How can my Medicare plan premium be zero dollars ($0) or have no premium?

How can my Medicare plan premium be zero dollars ($0) or have no premium?

This premium is also known as a “Notice of Medicare Premium Payment Due."

Medicare Advantage plans offer the same, minimum coverage as Medicare Parts A and B. Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans through their own pricing, which are monitored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Your Medicare Advantage plan may offer a low or $0 monthly premium, but you should be sure to review and understand other costs for which you may be responsible. For example, you may be responsible for prescription drug costs, copayments, coinsurance, and annual deductibles.

Experts recommend that you compare the costs of a Medicare Advantage plan with Medicare Part A and Part B before enrolling.

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What does Medicare Plan N cover?

What does Medicare Plan N cover?

Medicare Plan N refers to one Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap) plan. This plan covers many out-of-pockets expenses not covered by Original Medicare. The plan was introduced in 2010, and enrollment grew by 33% between 2013 and 2014.

Plan N covers any service or supply that Original Medicare covers. Original Medicare pays first. Plan N pays the remainder of expenses with some exceptions. Plan N does cover Medicare Part A deductibles ($1340 in 2018), Part A co-pays, and Part A co-insurance (20%). It also covers the Medicare Part B co-insurance (usually 20% after deductible).

Preventive health care is covered by Original Medicare. Medicare Plan N covers the following:

Inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing, home health, hospice and blood transfusions are covered by Original Medicare. Medicare Plan N covers the following:

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What is the difference between Medicare and Medicare Advantage?

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicare Advantage?

Original Medicare reimburses you for medical care, so long as you select providers that accept Medicare payment.

Medicare Advantage is an insurance plan offered by a private company hired by Medicare. It offers Part A and Part B benefits. Most Medicare Advantage plans offer Part D (prescription drug coverage). There are several kinds of Medicare Advantage plans.

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Does Original Medicare cover eye exams?

Does Original Medicare cover eye exams?

Original Medicare generally doesn’t cover routine eye exams, or exams for the purpose of acquiring or adjusting prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

However, Medicare Part B will cover an eye exam once every 12 months if you have diabetes or you have a high-risk of developing glaucoma.


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When can I sign up for Medicare and when will coverage start?

When can I sign up for Medicare and when will coverage start?

Those who retire at age 65 and have not yet received social security benefits have six months to enroll in Medicare. The application process can begin as soon as three months prior to your birth date and ends three months after your birth date. If the application is not completed within these six months, the individual will need to wait for the general enrollment period and will likely need to pay a late-enrollment penalty.

Those who retire at 65 but began receiving social security benefits before 65 will be automatically enrolled in Medicare. An application is not necessary.

Some work past 65 and might be covered under an employee group health plan. Because Medicare Part B has a premium, these individuals may want to delay the beginning of their coverage. Such individuals will use a Special Enrollment Period to sign up when ready.

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How do I apply for Medicare?

How do I apply for Medicare?

You may submit an online application for Medicare through Social Security Administration's website. The application allows you to save your progress and return to it later. It also offers you the option to view your status upon submission. 

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Does Original Medicare cover eye exams?

Does Original Medicare cover eye exams?

Original Medicare generally doesn't cover routine eye exams, or exams for the purpose of acquiring or adjusting prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, Medicare Part B will cover an eye exam once every 12 months if you have diabetes or you have a high-risk of developing glaucoma.

For certain eye diseases, Part B provides coverage for diagnostic tests, and treatments including lucentis, aflibercept, and ocular photodynamic therapy.

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How much of my bill will Medicare Part A pay?

How much of my bill will Medicare Part A pay?

The benefit period begins the first day that bean individual begins his or her stay in a medical facility and ends when he or she has been out of the facility for 60 consecutive days. The reason is that it is not uncommon for individuals when sick to go in and out of a hospital several times. All of the bills will be grouped for that benefit period.

Everyone who uses Medicare Part A must first pay what is called a hospital insurance deductible before Medicare pays for any bills during a benefit period. Deductible increases take place on the first of the year.

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I have Medicare now. Do I need to do anything else?

I have Medicare now. Do I need to do anything else?

Enrolling in Original Medicare means that you will have coverage for a variety of health services and supplies. The costs and specific benefits of Medicare coverage change each year so it is important to review your coverage every fall. You can make changes to your coverage every year from October 15 to December 7.

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