Retirement and Medicare
In retirement, medical bills are one of the most significant expenses seniors face. Enrolling in Medicare is a critical step toward budgeting for health care.
Typically, you will pay $0/month for Medicare Part A if you worked enough before retirement. Medicare charges a standard premium of $144.60/mo for Part B. However, you may pay more if your income exceeds specific amounts.
Original Medicare only covers 80% of your medical bills. Medicare charges copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. Because the 20% you pay out-of-pocket can be expensive, many seniors buy a Medicare supplement plan to fill the gaps.
Alternatively, a popular Medicare option is a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. Private insurance companies issue Medicare Advantage plans, which replace Original Medicare. They provide everything Original Medicare does, but can also include extra perks like vision, dental, hearing, and prescription drug benefits.
Preparing for Medicare
As you plan for retirement, consider what coverage works best for your health conditions.
Take a Personal Inventory
When you speak with an AARDY Medicare expert, you'll find it helpful to have all of your information at your fingertips. It will help your agent find the right plan that meets your needs.
Take a few minutes and jot down this information:
- What type of plan are you interested in: Medicare supplement, Medicare Advantage, or both types?
- What is your current health insurance? Which carrier? Furnished through an employer? How much is your premium, deductible, and coinsurance (Percentage you pay after meeting deductible)? What type of plan is it: HMO, PPO, etc.
- List the physicians you regularly visit. Your agent can check to see if they're covered by the plan you want.
- List your prescription drugs, doses, quantity, and cost to refill
- What are you most concerned about? Price of copay/insurance, annual deductible, monthly premiums? Coverage for specialized services, specialized drugs, while traveling/away from home?
- Note any other questions you have.
When Can You Enroll?
If you do not currently receive Social Security benefits, you will enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period at your 65th birthday. Medicare permits enrollment at other times of the year, but the IEP is the best time to get started.
Contact Your Doctor
Call your doctor's office and any other clinic where you regularly receive treatment to make sure they take Medicare insurance. If not, consider finding another doctor.
Get to Know Medicare
Learn a bit about Medicare, so you understand discussions about it with your doctor's office.
- Medicare Part A covers hospitalization, home health care, skilled nursing, and hospice.
- Medicare Part B is medical insurance that pays for doctor's services, ambulance, durable medical equipment, preventative medicine, some vaccines, and more.
- Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) replaces Part A and Part B into a single plan issued by an insurance company.
- Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage.
Working Past 65
If you plan to keep working after you turn 65, we recommend discussing Medicare with your employer. In some situations, you can keep your employer plan, but Medicare still requires you to enroll. If you do not enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period, you may face a late enrollment penalty later.
Healthcare Cost Factors
If you receive medical treatment frequently for a chronic condition, you want a plan that's best suited to you. Some plans cost more on the front end, in premiums, but less when you see the doctor. On the other hand, if you see a doctor infrequently, once or twice a year, you may be more comfortable with a lower premium but higher out-of-pocket costs.
Your annual income level can affect how much you pay for Medicare Part B and Part D.
Health Savings Accounts
Many employers offer HSAs, and if you're still working, you can contribute tax-deductible or pre-tax deductible funds. Then, you can use tax-free withdrawals to pay for medical expenses while on Medicare.
Your Medicare Plan Choice
The plan you choose can affect your costs. Typically, lower-premium programs have higher out-of-pocket costs, while higher premium plans cost less out-of-pocket. You can change policies if you don't like yours, but you may have to wait for an Enrollment Period.
Because Medicare and each state regulate insurance like Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, and Prescription plans, prices may be different depending on where you live.
However, Medicare Part A and Part B will always be the same no matter where you live.
Where Can I Get Help with Medicare as I Approach Retirement?
AARDY is here to help you understand Medicare.
We are the nation's fastest Medicare insurance marketplace. You can compare Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Prescription Drug plans to find the one that best fits your needs.