Common Medicare Questions

Why do I need a supplemental plan?

Medicare has two distinct parts….one that pays hospital costs after a deductible, and one that pays  80% for doctors and surgeons.  While 20% of an office visit may not amount to much, 20% of a major surgery could send people into bankruptcy.

When can I enroll or change plans?

This is one of the most confusing parts of Medicare.  The easy answer is:  You can buy traditional supplemental coverage up to 6 months before your Medicare starts, and make any changes you want all year long.  Federally administered programs such as Part D (Rx) and Part C (Advantage) can only be modified during the annual election period each year.

Does Medicare cover nursing homes?

No it does not.  There is some coverage available for “skilled nursing care”, but most folks are quickly out of that phase and need custodial care, which is not covered at all.  While we recommend Long Term Care for some, most people should be very careful before buying such expensive coverage.

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