Medicare and all its many components, rules, and dates can be an overwhelming issue for many seniors and their families. Our goal is to help make understanding how the insurance program works and to help you sign up for the plan that best fits your lifestyle and medical needs. Florida Medicare doesn't have to be overwhelming, and we hope this brief guide gives you a start on knowing what direction you would like to pursue. When you are ready to initiate the process of narrowing down your Medicare plans, we would love to help you get signed up.
How to apply for Medicare?
If you meet the requirements of eligibility for Florida Medicare enrollment, you can begin the application process during your initial enrollment period. This is between the three months before your 65th birthday, your birthday month, and the following three months, a total of 7 months. If you do not get signed up for Medicare in that period, you are still able to do so during the "general enrollment period," which falls annually between January 1 and March 31. If you wait until the general enrollment, your coverage will begin on July 1 as opposed to January 1.
If you are already enrolled in Medicare, and no longer are satisfied with your plan, you can change your plan each year during Open Enrollment. This annual event falls between October 15 and December 7, with your new coverage beginning on January 1. If you would like assistance with your Florida Medicare enrollment, fill out the quote form or call and talk to a representative.
Florida Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A often is referred to as hospital insurance. This is because it helps recipients to cover the costs associated with their inpatient care at a hospital or a skilled nursing facility. This does not apply to custodial, or long-term hospital or nursing facility stays. Medicare Part A does help to cover hospice and some of the expenses of home health care, should certain conditions be met.
Generally, there is no premium cost for those enrolled in Part A. This applies to those who paid Medicare taxes while working or those who had a spouse who worked. Those who did not pay are still able to pay a premium for their Part A coverage.
Florida Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B, or Medical Insurance, is the Medicare plan that assists subscribers in covering the costs associated with doctor's services and any outpatient care. Medicare Part B also covers some of the expenses that Part A does not, such as physical and occupational therapy, and parts of home health care. It may additionally include medical supplies deemed medically necessary.
A deductible applies to Part B plans, which must be met each year before Medicare Part B will start to pay its share of covered expenses. In 2012, the annual deductible was $140. It is possible in some circumstances to get assistance with meeting this deductible.
Florida Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D plans are often referred to as drug plans, as they help subscribers to afford better the costs associated with their prescription medications. Medicare Part D plans need to be chosen carefully since each Medicare Part D plan is allowed to form its formulary or list of covered medications. Then, they are often sorted into tiers, designating different price points for various drugs. Comparing formularies and tiers can be very significant in saving money with a Part D plan.
Supplemental Medicare Insurance
Florida Medicare supplement plans are often referred to as simply Medigap. There are ten different types of supplemental plans that are offered by private insurance companies. The plans are Parts A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N, and are used to help Medicare subscribers cover the "gaps" that are left using Medicare. What do Medicare supplement plans cover will vary depending on the chosen provider and plan, but the amount of coverage will be the same across different companies.
Many find supplementing with Medigap plans financially beneficial, as there are many things that Medicare Parts A and B do not cover, leaving a lot of out of pocket expenses that subscribers are expected to pick up. Supplements can help to reduce the out of pocket expenses related to prescription drugs, extended hospitalizations, or outpatient procedures. Even though it will cost more money monthly, it can end up saving a lot of money over the course of a year. Depending on the plan chosen, it is possible that the supplemental insurance will provide coverages that are extra. This might be emergency medical coverage when traveling outside of the country or help with the costs of nursing homes.
Florida Medicare Advantage plans are the same as Medicare Part C. These plans are alternatives to traditional Medicare Parts A and B, offered by independent insurance providers. Medicare Advantage plans provide the same benefits as a Part A and B plan, often with additional services, but all in one plan (as opposed to several, independent plans). These plans operate to limit and assist with payments for subscribers out of pocket expenses. Unlike traditional Medicare Parts A and B, Advantage plans are likely to include additional coverages, such as dental, vision, and more.
Medicare Advantage plans are often either HMOs or PPOs. HMOs require the use of doctors, specialists, and hospitals who are in-network, and require your primary care physician to give referrals should you require the use of a specialist. PPOs, generally, have larger networks and are less likely to require the use of a referral. Because Medicare Advantage plans are set up as HMOs and PPOs and are set up as a single plan, they are more similar to employer provided insurance than traditional Medicare.