Frequently Asked Questions

Medicare and the many options available to you can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming.

Your health care needs and concerns are unique to you, but there are some general questions that we find most people ask.

When am I eligible for Medicare?

You are eligible for Original Medicare when you turn 65. In some instances, you may become eligible for Medicare before age 65 due to a disability or other special situation. When turning 65, you have an initial enrollment period that begins three months before and ends threes months after the month of your 65th birthday. You may enroll in both Parts A and B of Medicare and also enroll in a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan during this window.

What do I do about Medicare if I'm working past age 65?

If you do not plan on retiring at or before age 65, you may enroll in just Part A of Medicare. Generally, Part A is premium free if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years. You may delay enrollment in Part B without paying a penalty as long as you continue to have creditable health insurance coverage through your employer.

What's the difference between a Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage?

A Medicare Supplement is available through private insurers and covers some or most of the co-pays and co-insurance that are part of Original Medicare. A Medicare Advantage plan is available through a private insurer who contracts with Medicare to provide your Part A and Part B coverage. These plans often include additional benefits that are not covered under Original Medicare, such as prescription drugs, vision, hearing, dental and other health-related benefits.

How much does Medicare cost?

Medicare Part A is generally premium free if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years. Medicare Part B has a monthly premium that is currently $164.90 for most people (in 2023). If you qualify for extra help, you may pay less for Part B and if you have a higher income in retirement, you may pay more. You may also pay co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles. The total cost for your Medicare coverage will depend on the coverage you choose and services you use.

What are co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles?

A co-pay is a flat amount that you pay to see a provider or receive a particular service. Co-insurance is the percentage of a service or procedure that you must pay. For example, Medicare pays 80% of your visit to your doctor, and you pay 20% of the cost. A deductible is the amount you are responsible for paying before insurance or Medicare coverage begins.

Where can I get help paying for Medicare?

Financial assistance for people with limited assets or income is available in the form of Extra Help for prescription drug costs and Medicaid. These programs are available through the state, and the amount of help varies based on financial qualifications. Your Medicare agent can help you with filling out the necessary forms to see if you qualify.