At first glance, Medicare can look completely overwhelming. You might have many questions if you consider whether or not Medicare is suitable for you or your family member. You might be concerned about the costs. You might have questions about what’s covered. Let’s answer all of these questions and more so you can make a thoughtful and informed decision about Medicare.
Matthew Bussard has made it his mission to support Medicare users as they work through this often confusing government insurance system. It doesn’t have to be confusing, and as long as you have a guide who can answer your questions along the way, it won’t be. Here are the top 10 questions Bussard has answered for seniors over the years.
10 Common Questions About Medicare
1. What is Medicare?
Medicare is an insurance program run by the federal government. As a safety net program, it is designed to ensure seniors do not find themselves unable to pay for medical treatment. Americans pay into the program via their payroll taxes while they are working.
2. How do I know if I qualify?
If you are 65 or older, you automatically qualify for Medicare. Younger people can also be eligible for the program if they have disabilities or have permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis.
3. What is the difference between all the parts?
To make Medicare less confusing, the government has broken down the program into four parts. Each includes coverage for different things:
- Part A: Hospital Coverage
- Part B: Doctor and Outpatient Services
- Part C: Medicare Advantage
- Part D: Prescription Drugs
4. What is covered?
What is mainly covered depends on what plans you chose to enroll in. When you initially sign up for Medicare, you are automatically enrolled in Part A, which only includes hospital coverage. You must select your own plans if you sign up for any of the other parts.
5. What do I do for services that aren’t covered?
Medicare Supplement Insurance (known as Medigap) plans are available to cover any gaps in insurance coverage.
6. What does all of this cost?
Most people pay nothing for part A. There will be a premium for any other parts, and the price depends on which plans you choose.
7. What is the difference between a deductible and coinsurance?
A deductible is a set amount you pay before the insurance begins. Coinsurance is the percentage you pay after your deductible is met.
8. What does “primary insurer” mean?
When you have two insurance policies, one is designated as primary, meaning it must pay first.
9. What do I do if I’m still working past 65?
That will depend on the company you work for. You may need to enroll, however in some situations; you can delay enrollment without penalty.
10. How do I know if Medicare is right for me (or my family member)?
The answer to this depends on a considerable number of factors. It may be helpful to reach out to a professional who can help you look at all of them before making your decision.
Nearly everyone has questions when they need to start thinking about Medicare. The system is complicated, and individuals who have never navigated it before often struggle to understand all of the details. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and ask questions if you are wondering about any specifics.
About Matthew Bussard
Matthew Bussard is a financial services broker offering support to Medicare users in Rhode Island. He is passionate about creating a difference in his clients’ lives by helping them enroll in Medicare with professionalism and care. Mr. Bussard volunteers with Medicare recipients at Oak Street Health Clinics, providing efficient, continual guidance to clients every step of the way. Matthew also participates in various charitable activities, including The Hunger Project, the MDRT Foundation, local clean-ups, and little league coaching. He donates to local charities and makes a difference in his community in every way possible.