Medicare Options Navigator
by Don Reynolds
(Long Beach, CA USA)
Wendy at Retirement-Online doesn't endorse this Medicare Options Navigator, simply because I don't know him... but the post is worthy of your time. Who knows... maybe he can help someone out there!
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I was getting close to retirement age, whatever that is. I knew I needed to keep working for my retirement. I have always helped others in lifes issues. So no surprise when I chose to be a Medicare Options Navigator.
I am now past 65 and a card carrying AARP, and Medicare member. I studied about Medicare and Social Security benefits for almost two years before I retired.
What I found out is that it is a very confusing set of things to do and know before you make an irrevocable decision. Start taking Social Security retirement for 'Baby Boomers' at age 65 and you will have a lifetime reduction in money received. And if you earn over a certain dollar amount, well below poverty level, you will owe Social Security money back for every two dollars over the maximum limit you will owe SS back one dollar until the age of 66.
Now the Medicare Scare---You have to register by age 65 for at least Part A (hospital plan) it is FREE except for the co-pays and deductibles. You have three months before, the month of, and 3 months after you turn 65 to register for Medicare to avoid penalties.
If you don't have any medical coverage for doctors, Part B, you need to have that too. That cost is $121.80 per month. They take it out of your Social Security check.
Now if you didn't register for SS retirement yet, they will take that out of a checking account. The deal is if you went to the Social Security office to register, they may or not tell you that there is a form to fill out to have them only take that money out once a month. If you didn't know to ask they will take out that money for three months in advance. Yes it is a shock and $365.40. BAM, you didn't see that one coming, did you?
Now you do know that 'Traditional' Medicare only helps pay for only some medical expenses, not all and not everything is covered. Things like prescription drugs, dental, hearing, optical, transportation to appointments etc are not included. YIKES!!
So you have two options to BUY Part C the missing coverages:
(1) choose your own doctors, dentists, Rx at a hefty cost called Supplemental Coverage.
(2) an option called Medicare Advantage where everything is covered, some have monthly premiums, co-pays, deductibles, etc.
There are many insurance carriers and each have many plans to choose from. WOW, that is alot to keep up with as it is.
And oh did I tell you that these plans may change during the year and also from October 15th to December 7th you have to review your current plan or get another plan for the next year because your needs may be changing or the coverage or costs of the plan you have may be changing?
You can only change during that time, unless a host of things change regarding you, where you live, the plan you have the doctor you have, etc changes.
What if once you do take your retirement on Social Security and there just isn't money left to pay for all this needed healthcare coverage and live too? There are a few plans only by a few insurance carriers that will cover all of your healthcare costs. A
nd you thought you could retire and relax in your 'Senior Years'. Not so.
All this being said you will need to find a Medicare Options Navigator that knows and is licensed and certified by the state and the carriers to keep you informed of all of this so you can relax and not worry about at least these things.
I service the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in southern California. My name is Don Reynolds, License number 0K36847 I will make myself available to talk with you anytime you have a concern or a question.