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ask questions about Medicare costs, enrollment, and avoiding penalties

What Questions Should I Ask About Medicare?

Medicare is a loaded topic. But that works in its favor. This section will address joining the plan and how to keep it.

What Are the Costs?

This question pertains to those who already have health insurance and those on a budget. If you already have health insurance, this is how you assess whether the costs are worth the rewards. For someone on a budget, knowing this will determine whether this fits. If it doesn’t fit your budget, you have further questions to ask.

Costs vary between policies, but you can expect to pay these (as of 2021):

  • Medicare Part A monthly premium – $0 if you are automatically enrolled; $259-$471 if you do not get the premium-free version
  • Medicare Part A deductible – $1484 per benefit period
  • Medicare Part B monthly premium – $148.50
  • Medicare Part B deductible – $203

Medicare Parts C and D costs vary between policies. However, for 2021 the average premium for Part C is $21 and for Part D it is $30.

How Do I Avoid Penalties?

Penalties here will be referenced in terms of late enrollment fees and how you can avoid being disqualified.

Waiting past your Initial Enrollment Period tacks on late fees. And you can’t join Medicare at any time. You have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (January 1 to March 31) to join, and you have to wait until July 1 before your benefits actually start. 

Putting enrollment off only makes it take longer to reap the benefits. 10% gets added on top of your premium cost, and you’ll be paying that for double the amount of time you waited to enroll in Part A. Example – if you waited a year, then you’ll pay late enrollment fees for the next two years. For Part B, the penalty is permanent and cannot be paid off.

Then there’s losing your policy altogether. If you already have health insurance, then you ought to check with them before adding a Medicare plan. This shouldn’t pose an issue, but in some cases, it can result in losing your current health insurance. This is especially the case with Medicare Advantage because it forbids adding a Medicare Supplement Plan.

What Are the Enrollment Periods, and What Can I Do with Them?

There are four main enrollment periods, each with its own time windows and what can be done within those time windows.

The enrollment periods are:

  • Initial Enrollment Period – Spans the three months before you turn 65 to the three months after you turn 65. You’re able to join a Medicare plan, with the possibility of getting Medicare Part A premium-free.
  • General Enrollment Period – January 1 to March 31. You can join a Medicare plan, but you can have late fees attached to your premiums depending on how long you waited to join. Your coverage begins July 1 of the year you sign up.
  • Special Enrollment Period – This applies for instances where you move out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s service area, lose your health insurance coverage, or your plan does not have a contract with Medicare anymore
  • Open Enrollment Period – Lasts from October 15 to December 7. You can switch or drop plans. This includes going from Medicare Part C to Original Medicare (and vice versa), going from Part C to a different Part C plan – or, joining, switching, or dropping a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D)

How Do I Maximize Savings?

Your journey to maximizing savings begins when you contact us. We understand Medicare inside and out. These are only a few sample questions that can apply to anyone interested in enrolling in Medicare, but each person has unique qualities and circumstances that make it so that he or she may have questions that may not be found elsewhere. Even Medicare itself continues to evolve in its policies.

Trusted Senior Specialists gives you answers, be it on the phone or via video chat. You can reach us at (855) 952-1941 or you can video chat with us for free.