If you are turning 65 soon, you are eligible to enroll for Medicare, the federal health insurance program. Medicare has four parts – A pays for in-patient hospital care, skilled nursing an home health care; B covers outpatient medical services, C offers a range of Medicare Advantage plans which gives hospital and medical insurance and other benefits like medicines, eyeglasses and dental.; D is for prescription medicines. Enrolling can be confusing with all the different deadlines and options. Follow our link to the Boston Globe article which explains the process in more detail: Read More.
Enrolling in Medicare can be confusing. Here’s how to do it.
By Robert Weisman | Boston Globe
Dr. Marsha Lavoie, a family medicine specialist at Harrington Memorial Hospital in Southbridge, knows more about Medicare than most people because she routinely bills the federal health insurance program on behalf of her older and disabled patients.
But when it came time to sign up for the program herself this year, Lavoie, 65, faced the same concerns and uncertainties as anyone else navigating the maze of Medicare options, regulations, supplemental plans, and potential land mines.
“It’s time-consuming trying to sort through it,” Lavoie said. “You’ve got to look at coverage, premium, network, drugs, how much it’s going to cost and what the restrictions are. There’s so many different plans, and they all have their own rules and regulations.”
With roughly 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, according to the Pew Research Center, the Medicare enrollment odyssey has become a generational rite of passage. Some welcome it as a godsend, enabling them to retire or pursue new ventures without fretting about health insurance. Others dread confronting the program’s myriad complexities.
And the decisions don’t end with your initial enrollment. Medicare has annual open enrollment periods each fall, including one ending this Friday, in which beneficiaries can make changes to some of their coverage.
For those soon to be eligible for Medicare, the issues to grapple with are as individual and varied as they are unavoidable.
“Everyone’s situation is different,” said Carole Malone, assistant secretary of elder affairs in Massachusetts, which has about 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries. “Their health is different, the medicines they take are different, their marital status is different. Some are still covered by their husband’s or wife’s health insurance.” Continue Reading