I hope all is good in your world and you and your family are safe and sane in these crazy times. I wanted to touch on some points to consider when you are turning 65. I am quite sure you are getting bombarded with calls from everyone and their brother trying to be your new best friend. I am sure they are pleasant and wonderful until you tell them no. Then they show their true colors. Most of the people calling you are interested in one thing and one thing only, selling you a policy. Most work in a call center and it is a numbers game.
Do not get me wrong, I feed my family with this business, but first and foremost it is about helping people. You should not decide based off one conversation, or high-pressure tactics. You need to ask the right questions and if it were me, I would ask for information in writing. You should take your time and make sure you are happy with not only your policy, but your agent as well.
Here are some things to think about and ask
about when you are turning 65:
I have this type of policy: what happens when I turn 65?
If you have a group plan through an employer and plan on continuing to work, then you probably only need to enroll in Part A until you decide to retire. If you are on Obamacare, ACA, or Marketplace all the same plans, you will need to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B and a drug Plan at a minimum. If you are going to have the option of taking your coverage in retirement then you should do a side by side comparison of what is available to you with Medicare, the cost and coverage versus your retirement plan.
Do I have to take a drug plan if I do not take medication right now?
If you are enrolling in Part A and Part B with no other drug coverage available to you, then at the very least take the least expensive monthly premium Part D drug plan to avoid the penalty, 1% of the average policy, for every month you did not have credible drug coverage, VA or a work plan with prescriptions included. If you decide not to enroll in Part D when first eligible, you will not be able to enroll in one in most circumstances outside of Oct. 15th and Dec. 7th each year. If the person you are speaking with does not wish to go over Part D coverage with you, do not walk away run. In most circumstances you will use your Part D more often than Part A or Part B or Part C. It is particularly important to re-examine your prescription plan every year.
What is the difference between Traditional Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan?
Medicare Advantage plans are privately managed Medicare plans. They must provide the same benefits as Traditional Medicare, but they do not have to charge the same, but they must cover the same as Medicare. Please be wary if someone is only pushing the Medicare Advantage plans. These plans are extremely specific and there are many things to consider and be aware of the limitations, i.e. costs and copays. There is no free plan. None!
How do you get paid?
By the insurance company. The rates are set with the state. Here is what they will not tell you, an agent gets paid twice as much to enroll someone new to Medicare in a Medicare Advantage Plan than traditional Medicare and a Supplement. Who is the person you are speaking with looking out for you or their wallet? They better be looking out for you!
Who do I call if I have an issue?
Will the person who is trying to be your new best friend going to be there after you enroll? If they say call the insurance company, you are dealing with a salesman. If they are so happy and willing to help you before enrollment, they better be there after enrollment with just as much enthusiasm.
Medicare has many moving parts and in my humble opinion, it is too important to base your decision on a pitch. Have multiple conversations and get everything in writing before you make your decision.
If you have any questions, or are interested in having a conversation about Medicare with someone that is concerned about you the person and not you the paycheck, give me a call and let’s talk.
Lastly, do something nice for someone just because.
All the best.
Randall J. Lawson
The HgO Group
National Producer Number #9276045