The Roadmap to Medicare
Medicare can be confusing! There are so many different plans and parts with so many routes you can take when you initially enroll in Medicare. Combine this with the piles of mail you are receiving and who knows where to start on how to get started on Medicare in Nevada.
This is where we come in. Our team of expert local brokers has come up with a roadmap on how to get started on Medicare in Nevada.
Every trip has starting point and Medicare is no different. The starting point on Medicare can be different depending on your situation. Either you are turning 65 or you have been on social security disability for 24 months.
You will be able to apply for Medicare starting three months before you turn 65, the month of your birthday, and three months after your 65th birthday month. We always recommend for people to get the process started at the three month before mark. This way, you can be ahead of the game and can start looking at different Medicare plans.
So what exactly are we telling you to sign up for? That would be original Medicare.
Original Medicare consists of parts A and B.
This is going to cover your inpatient services, skilled nursing facilities as well as hospice care.
Part A typically does not come with a cost associated with it. Finally, something “free” from the government!
As long as you have worked and paid taxes for at least 40 quarters (10 years) then part A will be at no cost to you.
This part of Medicare covers your outpatient services such as doctor visits, physical therapy appointments, and labs. Some other services that are included in Part B are home health, durable medical equipment and preventative care.
Part B does not come for free. The lowest premium that a person will see is going to be $148.50 but there is a chance that an individual could have a higher premium.
The Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount changes each year. IRMAA will dictate what a Medicare recipient pays for Part B and will take this amount out of your social security check if you are receiving benefits.
Now that we have figured out the costs, let’s figure out how to sign up!
There are a few ways that someone can sign up for parts A and B. Actually, there are three ways!
The easiest way to get signed up for Medicare parts A and B would be to go online to the social securities website at www.ssa.gov and sign up . You’ll create an account, sign up, and then receive your cards in the mail soon after.
You can always give them a call. In our experience, our clients usually have long wait times on the phone and it can be pretty frustrating. You can call the social security office at (800) 772-1213.
In normal years, you would be able to go down to the Social Security office and sign up. As of right now, the Reno office is closed to walk ins. But when it opens back up you can visit them at 1170 Harvard Way Reno, NV 89502.
Now we play the waiting game. The clients that we have talked to about it typically see their card in 3-4 weeks. It is the government, so give it some time. This is why we always suggest signing up 3 months before your 65th birthday.
This is where you want to do your research, or have a broker do the research, to make the best decision based off of your needs.
This brings me to my next point. Brokers can be a tremendous help. That’s because we contract with all of the major companies in the area so we can shop year around and make sure you are in the best situation based off of your needs.
As for us, we are located in Reno, Sparks, and Carson City.
Now let’s get back to the differences between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies that are available in the area you live in. MAPD plans include all parts of Medicare and they funnel them into one plan. This means most plans will include Part D as well as extra benefits such as gym memberships, dental, vision, and hearing coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans are primarily made up of copays. As a result, patients will know exactly what they have to pay each time they go see the doctor or receive any other service.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Medicare Supplement plans. Medicare Supplement plans are meant to work alongside original Medicare and take care of the 20% coinsurance that Medicare sticks you with.
This is where things get confusing. We have already gone over the different Parts of Medicare. Now we will go over the different plans of Medicare Supplement.
Medicare Supplement plans go from Plan A to Plan N and as a result, there is a wide range of benefits to look at.
See all the numbers on there? Confused yet?
As a broker, we look at all the different plans and we will narrow down our suggestions for you. The plans that we typically look at is Plan G as well as Plan N.
Plan G will cover 100% of your approved medical services after you satisfy the Part B deductible which is $203 for 2021. That means that all a person has to do is pay $203 and then they are getting 100% of your medical services taken care of!
That being said, Medicare Supplement plans do have a premium attached to the policy. The premium can range in price so be sure to ask your broker what the best bang for your buck is.
A broker will look at not only the premium now but what the premium might look like in 15 years.
This is what we call the premium trend. Every insurance company has to provide the exact same medical benefits so we really take a look at the premium trends over the years.
Now that we have covered both sides of Medicare it’s time to finally come to the end of the road.
Part D Prescription Drugs Plans (PDP)
If a person elects to stay with original Medicare and a supplement plan then that individual will need to purchase a Part D Prescription Drug Plan separately.
These are very easy to obtain. The first thing someone will have to do is log on to Medicare.gov and create a log in. After that, you will need to enter in your prescription drug info and the website will recommend different plans.
Part D drug plans will range in prices from $7-$50 a month.
Be sure to sign up for a plan because if you do not sign up during that initial eligibility period (remember when I mentioned that above?) then you will be assessed a late enrollment penalty.
Now that we have come to the end of our roadmap on how to get started on Medicare in Nevada.
Obtain Parts A and B
Choose between Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement
Obtain Part D (if necessary)
Pretty simple right?
If you ever need help researching these plans, reach out to one of our local expert brokers and we will be happy to assist in the process. We are a no cost service and your premiums and benefits do NOT change if you use us or go straight to the insurance company.
Let us be your guide on the roadmap to Medicare!