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Choosing Your Medicare Benefits
Nearly 60 million Americans receive their health insurance benefits through Medicare. It’s a critical solution to the need of countless senior citizens and others to receive affordable medical care. Over the years, the program has changed with the times to encompass a variety of publicly funded and private plan options that can cover a multitude of essential care.
Bourgeois Insurance provides customer-centric, professional advice on all aspects of the Medicare program, and we can guide Louisiana Medicare recipients through the process of choosing the coverage that is in their best interest. To get optimized benefits easily, just give us a call at 985-803-8999 or request a quote through our online form now.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a health insurance program, conceived and supported by the U.S. government to provide access to medical benefits to Americans who need affordable coverage. Most working Americans pay into the Medicare system over the years through their payroll taxes.
Upon reaching the age of 65, nearly all Americans qualify for some form of Medicare benefits. Americans with certain disabilities and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) can also qualify for benefits at earlier dates.
However, the Medicare system has grown considerably since the government implemented it more than 50 years ago. There are numerous plans and countless benefits on the market, and one might be the perfect Medicare benefit for you. By understanding each of these benefits, you can ensure that you get the right coverage whenever you become a Medicare subscriber.
How many parts does Medicare have?
When the Medicare system started, it contained two primary types of benefits, Part A & Part B coverage. Commonly called Original Medicare, these benefits are still the foundation stones of Medicare that all participants need to carry, and they are primarily supported by the federal Medicare tax.
Still, Medicare has grown considerably to include various private policy options, notably Part C benefits, also known as Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D plans, which offer prescription drug benefits.
Part A coverage is hospital coverage, and it pays for costs related to inpatient stays in hospitals, nursing home or other facilities, surgeries and related services. All Medicare plans start with Part A coverage.
To receive coverage for your everyday medical care, such as vaccinations, lab work, physicals and other physician services, you will use Part B coverage. Though Part B coverage is optional, you must buy it in order to qualify for both Part C & Part D benefits.
Part C plans are sold through private insurers. These plans must meet standards set by law, and they will have to include nearly all of the same benefits as Original Medicare. However, these plans have different cost structures and offer additional benefits such as dental, vision and prescription drug coverage.
Original Medicare Part A & Part B benefits will not offer prescription drug benefits. To add this benefit to your Original plan, you can buy a Part D plan provided by a private insurer.
How do I apply for Medicare?
Most Americans qualify for Original Medicare, and these plans are available nationwide. However, different qualifications apply for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans.
If you are a Social Security recipient, then you will automatically be enrolled in Part A & Part B coverage. Otherwise, you will have to enroll in a plan yourself. However, you can easily do so by applying for coverage either through your Social Security office or at Medicare.gov.
Once you have your Original coverage, you can begin to apply for Part C & Part D benefits. The easiest way to do this is to work with a Bourgeois Insurance expert. We understand all of the different benchmarks that you will need to meet to qualify for these policies, and we’ll help you design a package of coverage that appropriately combines your standard Medicare benefits with expanded coverage.
What are the Medicare enrollment periods?
If you do not automatically receive Medicare, then there are multiple times each year when you might qualify to enroll in either Original Medicare or Part C and Part D plans. These include:
The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): This seven-month period centers on your 65th birthday. It starts three months before and ends three months after the month you turn 65.
General Enrollment: If you do not enroll in Original Medicare during your IEP, then you might only qualify to enroll during General Enrollment from Jan. 1 – March 31 annually. Enrollment penalties might apply, however.
Special Enrollment Periods: Sometimes, you qualify to enroll in Medicare outside of your IEP and the general enrollment periods.
Open Enrollment: From Oct. 15 – Dec. 7 each year, you can qualify to upgrade to a Medicare Advantage plan, buy a new Part D plan, switch from an Advantage plan to Original Medicare or take other steps. However, you cannot enroll in Original Medicare for the first time.
We fully understand how complicated the Medicare system can be, which is why we strive to help every customer determine the policy that is always in their best interest to carry. All you have to do is trust us, and we’ll help you meet all your Medicare needs with ease and with affordability in mind.
If your looking to get Medicare in the Bayou Region of Louisiana today give us a call at 985-803-8999 or request a QUOTE HERE