Important Reminders for New Medicare Clients After Enrolling
After signing up for a Medicare insurance plan, there are some important things to keep in mind to help ensure you get the most out of your coverage. One of the most important aspects of Medicare is understanding the costs associated with the program. In this article, we will discuss some of the key things to consider when it comes to Medicare costs for all new Medicare clients.
Understanding Medicare Costs
Many people believe that Medicare is free, but it’s important to note that this is not the case. The Social Security Administration charges a base premium of $164.90 per month just to have Medicare (typically referred to as Part B). This premium is deducted automatically if you are collecting Social Security benefits. If you are not collecting Social Security benefits, you will receive a quarterly bill in the mail. It’s important to keep an eye out for this bill and pay it on time to avoid any late fees or penalties.
In addition you may also be charged a higher premium if the Social Security Administration deems you to be in a higher income bracket. To find out more about income brackets and Medicare costs read this article.
Things to Consider for Those Older Than 65
If you are over the age of 65 and have signed up for a Medicare insurance plan, there are some additional things to consider. Below are two important considerations to keep in mind:
- Prior Coverage Attestation- You will receive a letter from the private insurance company, on behalf of Medicare, called the “Declaration of Prior Prescription Drug Coverage.” This will arrive in the mail soon. This is a normal step in the process and nothing to worry about. It is the government confirming that you did not have a break in prescription drug coverage for more than 63 days since becoming Medicare eligible at age 65. Since you did not have a break in drug coverage, simply fill out the form with the dates that you had drug coverage. Some examples of this could be your employer health insurance, or a prior Part D plan from Medicare. Fill in the requested information (name of the health insurance, the coverage start and end date, etc) and mail it back to the requested address. Alternatively, you can call your new Prescription Drug Plan Company directly and give them a verbal attestation over the phone, stating that you did not have a gap in coverage. Either option is sufficient.
- Coming Off Employer Plan– If you are coming off of an employer plan and have enrolled in a Medicare Supplement Plan, you can double-check that Medicare is your primary insurance by calling 1-855-798-2627 (Benefits Coordination department). Sometimes your employer insurance will remain listed as your primary insurance even after you have been successfully enrolled in a Supplement plan, so it’s important for you to double-check with the Benefits Coordination department.
Medicare can be confusing, but with the right information, you can make informed decisions about your coverage. Understanding the costs associated with Medicare is a critical first step. Additionally, if you are over the age of 65, it’s important to keep in mind the two considerations we discussed. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about Medicare, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Plan Medicare representative at 516-900-7877 or visit planmedicare.com.