Plans as Unique as You
At Knelson Financial, we take a holistic approach to your Medicare and Drug plan needs. Medicare is explained in detail so you're able to make the best choice based on coverage and affordability. Plans are also reviewed annually to control costs to many clients who are often on fixed incomes.
Enrolling in Medicare
What You Need to Know
Whether you're coming up on your 65th birthday or you've been disabled for 24 months, the quickest and easiest way to enroll into Medicare is to sign up here. However, you can also call them at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or go to your local Social Security Administration Office. The timeline to sign up for Medicare is three months before the month of your birthday, the month of your birthday and three months after your birthday. If you're still working and have what is considered creditable coverage, you may not need to sign up for Medicare when turning 65. To determine whether you have creditable coverage, it's advisable to speak to your HR or Personnel representative from your employer. To learn about one of the most affordable top-rated plans and networks in our area for Medicare that includes dental, vision, hearing and prescription coverage, click here!
We Only Partner With Top-Rated Companies
Original Medicare or parts A and B of Medicare only cover 80% of Hospital and Medical expenses. So how do you cover the other 20% of hospital and medical expenses that Medicare doesn't cover? One way, and arguably the best way, to cover the other 20% is to purchase a Medicare supplement. Supplements are offered by private insurance companies and the most popular plans offered are Plans G and N.
When becoming newly eligible for Medicare, it is extremely important to pick the best plan for you because this is the one time you do not have to health qualify or pass health questions to purchase a supplement. This enrollment period is called the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). When deciding to choose a supplement, it is important consider a company's financial ratings, premium rate stability, how long the company has been in business and have an idea of the cost of that plan in the next 10-15 years, and if you can afford those premiums in that time span.
Below are the companies we partner with when looking out for the best interest of our clients.
Aetna, Americo, Bankers Fidelity Assurance Company, Cigna, Humana and Mutual of Omaha.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Affordable Plans That Offer Additional Benefits
Medicare Advantage, also offered by private insurance companies, is Part C of Medicare and these plans have networks, copays, coinsurance, deductibles, Max Out Of Pocket (MOOP) costs and most come with drug plans, and additional benefits for dental, vision and hearing. These plans even provide gym memberships for gyms that participate in Silver Sneakers and an Over The Counter (OTC) benefit. And to top it off, premiums are very affordable and range from $0 to around $84 per month depending on the company and where you live. Also if you have Medicaid and Medicare, there are fantastic plans that offer additional benefits!
However, you should be aware of how these plans work. Below are some important details you should consider if you plan to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan.
You Have Enrollment Periods. This means you only have certain times throughout the year that you can either change, add or drop plans. There are numerous enrollment periods (IEP, AEP, SEP and OEP) and keeping track of them can be daunting, but just know the main one to remember is the Annual Election Period or AEP, which runs from 10/15 to 12/07 every year.
You Have Networks. These networks can restrict your coverage tremendously. HMO’s, PPO’s and PFFS plans only work with certain doctors and hospitals, and who and what is in network can change annually. It is always recommended to review your plan every October when you receive your Annual Notice Of Change (ANOC) from your company to see if changes are necessary for the following year.
Copays and Coinsurance. Most Medicare Advantage plans have steep copays for the first 6-10 days for inpatient hospital stays. These copays usually range from $290 to $400 per day while you’re in the hospital. This doesn’t include copays for labs, diagnostic testing such as X-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, etc. or other services that you could be assessed a copay. As you can see, these copays can add up quickly. Also, most Medicare Advantage plans have 20% coinsurance for chemotherapy or cancer treatments. However, much of these copays can be covered with additional plans for hospital inpatient stay copays and cancer treatments at very affordable rates.
If you have additional questions about Medicare Advantage plans, please feel free to reach out or click here to view some of the top-rated plans in our area.
Companies we partner with for Medicare Advantage are listed below.
Anthem, Aetna, Humana and WellCare.
Part D Prescription Drug Coverage
Great Coverage From Affordable Plans!
Part D of Medicare is Prescription Drug coverage and is subject to all of the enrollment periods that Medicare Advantage is subject to. With Part D, it is very important to enroll in a Part D plan when you are new to Medicare and pick a plan that is best for you. Although you may not need prescription coverage now, you may need it later when you are older. The reason I point this out is because of the late enrollment penalty for Part D. If you are assessed a late enrollment penalty for Part D, you are assessed 1% per month for every month you could’ve had a Part D plan, but didn’t have one. This penalty is assessed for as long as you have a Part D plan.
Stand-alone Part D plans are normally coupled with Original Medicare or a Medicare Supplement, but can be coupled with other plans.
What about premiums? Premiums for Part D plans are affordable. Good plans are available from $13-20 per month although you can find plans that range from $50-60 per month. I have discovered that the more affordable plans work just as well for most people.
Lastly, if you find that your Part D plan isn’t covering your prescription drugs as you would like such as the prescription drugs you see advertised on TV, GoodRx can help. If you don’t believe me, just try it out and see what you think. And if that doesn’t help, drug manufacturers have pharmaceutical assistance programs that can help if you qualify for those programs, which are based on income and how much you have spent on prescriptions during the year.
Reviewing your Part D plan annually is very important! This can save you thousands of dollars and surprises over the years. Plans’ coverages and premiums change annually and can drastically affect how much you pay out of pocket for your prescriptions.