Medicare Blog

where to find help with choosing medicare

by Imani Tillman PhD Published 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago

Full Answer

Where to get free Medicare advice?

  • You have full Medicaid coverage.
  • You get help from a Medicare savings program.
  • You receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration.

How do I pick an unbiased, helpful Medicare adviser?

What to Expect When You Meet with a Medicare Advisor

  • Give you business cards to pass on to your friends and family
  • Provide you with an enrollment form
  • Provide you with plan materials
  • Talk to you about plan options you agreed to discuss
  • Tell you how to get more information on a plan

How do you check out your Medicare coverage?

  • You can use the enrollment check at
  • You can check the status online at
  • You can call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227
  • Members can visit a local office to review the coverage in person

How to switch your Medicare drug plan?

  • The Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan data on our site comes directly from Medicare and is subject to change.
  • Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information on our site.
  • We provide our site for educational purposes and strive to present unbiased and accurate information. ...

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How many days are there to make Medicare choices?

That’s day one of the 54 days when Americans 65 and older have to make their Medicare choices for 2018. These choices could save you hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars a year and could well determine the quality of your health care, and your health, for years to come.

How much does Medicare cover for hospital stays?

There are many other costs you need to cover under Medicare. For example, Medicare Part A covers 100 percent of the first 60 days of a hospital stay. But for original Medicare enrollees, you must cover a deductible for each hospital stay. In 2017 that deductible was $1,316.

How much is Medicare Advantage premium?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says the average Medicare Advantage premium is expected to be about $30 a month for 2018, a slight dip from 2017. CMS also is predicting that enrollment in MA plans will reach an all-time high next year of 20.4 million people.

When did Medicare Part C start?

So in 1997 it created Medicare Part C, or what is known today as Medicare Advantage plans.

What is the difference between Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B?

Original Medicare comprises two parts: Medicare Part A, which provides coverage for most costs related to hospital stays , and Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits, lab work, outpatient services and preventive care. Part A is free to most people who qualify ...

How does Medigap work with Medicare?

How it works with Original Medicare: A Medigap plan works in conjunction with Original Medicare and helps to pay for some of Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs. You might consider this type of Medicare plan if: You wish to have less uncertainty with your out-of-pocket health care costs.

What are the different types of Medicare Advantage plans?

There are several different types of Medicare Advantage plans. These plan types include Medicare HMO plans, Medicare PPO plans and others. Learn more about the different types of Medicare Advantage plans to help you decide which one might be the best fit for you. Medicare Part D plans can also come in different types of formats, ...

What is the difference between Medicare Part A and Part B?

Step 1: Determine which Medicare plan coverage option you want. Medicare beneficiaries could potentially only be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance). Medicare Part B (medical insurance) is optional, as are several other types of Medicare coverage .

What is a Medigap plan?

Medigap plans can help provide coverage for some of the out-of-pocket expenses that are tied to Original Medicare. These can include Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, copayments and more. There are 10 different types of standardized Medigap plans available in most states, and each type of plan offers its own combination of benefits.

What is Medicare Part D?

Medicare Part D. Medicare Part D plans provide coverage for many prescription drugs. There are many different types of Medicare Part D plans, and each one offers its own formulary, which is the list of drugs covered by the plan. How it works with Original Medicare: Part D plans are used alongside Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan ...

What are the benefits of Medicare Advantage?

Some of these additional benefits can include coverage for prescription drugs, dental, hearing, vision and more.

How many different types of Medigap are there?

As previously mentioned, there are 10 different types of Medigap plans in most states, each with its own combination of standardized benefits it may offer. You can compare what each type of Medigap plan covers and find out which plans are available where you live.

What to check after choosing Medicare Advantage?

So, after you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll want to check each year during open enrollment to see if there are any changes in your network. It’s also a good idea to find out which specialists, hospitals, home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities are in the plan’s network.

What is the copayment for Medicare?

Part D and Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage almost always charge a copayment or coinsurance for each of the medicines you purchase. Copays are a set amount you pay for each prescription filled, say $10 or $20.

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Medicare Supplement Insurance helps cover the out-of-pocket health care costs you can incur with Original Medicare Part A and Part B and hospice and home health care services. (If you have an Advantage plan, you may not purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance.) There are 10 standardized plans and premiums are regulated by the states. Massachusetts, Maine and WIsconsin have their own standardization. What you pay in monthly premiums can depend on where you live, what coverage you get and how old you are. You can learn more in this guide on comparing and selecting plans, with a side-by-side comparison of the different policies.

How much is Medicare Part B 2020?

Medicare Part B comes with an annual deductible of $198 for 2020. After you meet the deductible for the year, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for doctor services and other Medicare Part B benefits.

How many standardized plans are there?

There are 10 standardized plans and premiums are regulated by the states. Massachusetts, Maine and WIsconsin have their own standardization. What you pay in monthly premiums can depend on where you live, what coverage you get and how old you are.

Does compare plans? offers a tool to help compare Medicare Advantage Plans.

Does Medicare have a yearly limit?

Medicare Advantage plans have a yearly limit on how much members will pay in out-of-pocket costs. Be aware that cost sharing and benefits of the Medicare Advantage plan you choose can change from year to year. If you choose Medicare Advantage and are happy with your coverage, you will still need to look for changes and compare plans ...

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare covers medical services and supplies in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other health care settings. Services are either covered under Part A or Part B. Coverage in Medicare Advantage. Plans must cover all of the services that Original Medicare covers.

Does Medicare Advantage have a yearly limit?

If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, once you reach a certain limit, you’ll pay nothing for covered services for the rest of the year. This option may be more cost effective for you. note:

Is coinsurance a part of Medicare Advantage?

Supplemental coverage in Medicare Advantage. It may be more cost effective for you to join a Medicare Advantage Plan because your cost sharing is lower (or included). And, many Medicare Advantage plans offer vision, hearing, and dental.

Can you use a Medigap policy?

You can’t use (and can’t be sold) a Medigap policy if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan. note: If you're in a Medicare plan, review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC)and  "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) . Prescription drugs.

Does Medicare cover hearing?

Some plans offer benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover like vision, hearing, or dental. note: If you're in a Medicare plan, review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC)and  "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) . Your other coverage.

Does Medicare Advantage include prescription drugs?

Most Medicare Advantage Plans include drug coverage. If yours doesn't, you may be able to join a separate Part D plan. note: If you're in a Medicare plan, review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC)and  "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) . Doctor and hospital choice.

When Can I Enroll In Medicare?

Remember, you are automatically eligible to receive Medicare the day you turn 65. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits and enrolled in Medicare before you hit 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Part A of Medicare.

Can I Add, Drop, And Change Coverage?

You can’t add, drop, and change coverage as you please. There are certain times and dates when you can do this. There can also be some confusion as to whether or not there will be fees or penalties for adding certain coverage or dropping it from your plan.

What is the star rating on Medicare Part D?

The star rating is an indicator of the plan’s quality and performance. Factors that go into the star rating include:

How to know if antineoplastics are covered by Medicare?

To know if your prescription drug is covered by your plan, ask for the plan’s formulary. A formulary is a list of covered prescription medications. If you have a plan that doesn’t cover ...

What is Medicare Part D?

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage offered by private insurance companies. You can get Medicare Part D coverage through a stand-alone plan that works together with Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) or through a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan. Find affordable Medicare plans in your area.

Does Medicare Part D affect your income?

Since private Medicare-approved insurance companies offer Medicare prescription drug plans, premiums vary from one plan to another. Your Medicare Part D premium may also be affected by your income. Usually higher-income beneficiaries pay more for Medicare Part D coverage.

Does Medicare cover all prescription drugs?

However, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans must cover all or “substantially all” prescription drugs that are: Medicare Part D mandates the coverage of these classes of prescription drugs to protect the “vulnerable populations” that take them. To know if your prescription drug is covered by your plan, ask for the plan’s formulary.

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