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Typically, you have to be 65 years old or older to qualify for Medicare. Youíll also need to meet certain criteria such as having paid into the system while you worked or disabilities in order to participate. In some cases you can even purchase Medicare if you wouldnít otherwise qualify. (This can apply to people over the age of 65 that have moved to the U.S. from a different country and havenít built up the required credits.)
Here comes the alphabet part that can sound a little tricky. Medicare has two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A is generally free (pays for hospital charges), and Part B costs a little, and is generally subtracted from your social security income. Part B covers some of the costs of doctors. You need to have both Parts A & B before you can buy a Medicare supplement to augment your coverage. Medicare supplements have a standardized set of benefits categorized as Plans A through N. Take a look at the instant quotes and you can see a table that shows the coverage for each plan. Medicare supplement Quote (Remember Medicare has Parts A & B, and Supplements have Plans A through N.) The instant quote will give you a good idea of the cost of supplements. Many people like these because you have a large doctor network to choose from.
Medicare Supplements or MediGap policies have different Plans. (Yes, Original Medicare has Parts A-D, Medicare Supplements have Plans A thru N) Plan A has the least additional coverage (and lowest price) and coverage typically gets better as the letters get larger. Plan F is the most comprehensive and is very popular.
One recommendation is to get a very reputable carrier because you are betting your future that the carrier will be there when you need them. Note that Medicare supplements are generally guaranteed-issue (you canít be turned down) when you first qualify for Medicare, but they are medically underwritten (you can be turned down for health reasons) if you switch at a later date or your carrier decides to leave the state.
A different approach to Medicare is called Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans are heavily regulated and it best to call us on them and we can go over it. We are certified with most Medicare Advantage Carriers. (UHC, AARP, Secure Horizons, Humana, Aetna, etc). The idea with these plans is that the government gives the money that is used to fund Medicare Parts A & B to an insurance carrier. The insurance carrier takes that money along with what ever they charge you, and enrolls you in their system. The carrier you enroll with should offer better coverage than Original Medicare (typically not as good as Medigap Plan F) and you will typically have to stay in the carrier's controlled system of doctors and facilities.
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