5 Important Steps When Signing up for Medicare

By Michelle Davulis
October 22, 2020
Navigating through Medicare. It's not Easy alone but so easy when you have an Agent in your corner!

We have been discussing Medicare Open Enrollment for a few months now and that is because as your insurance agent and a professional in the business it is always my mission to ensure the community has as much information as possible to make good decisions when it comes to their health and life insurance. These two products sustain life while you are alive and help sustain financial security after death, so it is important to know the facts and have a professional sit down with you.

 

Many think once they enroll in Medicare and get their Advantage Plan or Supplement plan set up there is no need to revisit or discuss their plans with their agent until something happens or they want to change plans. The truth is Medicare rules and regulations change every year and Doctors are added and dropped from plans and networks simultaneously and all the time. Add into the mix the Prescription Benefits and tiers that also change based on formulary and non-formulary additions and subtractions. There are enough changes to make any human’s head spin let alone someone who wasn’t trained or licensed in the insurance business.

 

MLD’s recommendation is make an appointment with your insurance agent every year during the open enrollment period if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you have a Medicare Supplement you can schedule an appointment at any time during the year as these plans are not restricted to changes between October and December.

 

5 Steps to Enrolling in Medicare Plans

Here are the typical steps to enrolling in Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplements, Prescription Drug Plans, Dental, Vision, and Recovery care.

Step 1: 

Apply for Medicare. Go to ssa.gov and scroll down a bit until you see a big blue button that says, “Apply for Medicare Only” If you have Medicare, you can obviously skip this step but make sure you have applied for your Medicare before selecting a complimentary plan.

Step 2:

Schedule an Appointment with your Trusted Insurance Agent.

Laws, networks, providers, and prescription tiers change all the time. An insurance agent is licensed and certified every year to stay up to date with all of the changes, so you don’t have to.

Step 3:

Decide whether a Medicare Advantage Plan also known as MAPD or Medicare Supplement Plan is right for you.

Again, the agent will listen to all of your needs and find the plans that fit your lifestyle and budget.

Step 4:

Decide on Prescription Drug coverage.

If you choose an MAPD or Advantage plan your prescription drug card is included. If you decided to go with a Medicare Supplement you will then discuss a prescription plan with your agent.

Note: If you do not purchase a prescription drug plan the law states you will be penalized and charged 1% of what the premium would have been for every month you went without coverage. 1% doesn’t seem like a lot though if you go 12 months or more it can skyrocket. I had a client who was stuck paying 60% or over $50 more in premiums for their drug card because they let it lapse for so long.

Step 5:

Decide on Dental, Vision, Recovery, and other ancillary coverages you may need.

Dental, Vision, and Recovery must be purchased separately though are very cheap compared to out-of-pocket costs without them.

Don’t forget Long-term care in case you need home health care, or a skilled nursing care facility longer than Medicare will pay for.

Life insurance is always something you and your insurance agent should discuss and make sure you have enough coverage based on your assets.

 

We would love to speak to you this year to go over your benefits and make sure you have everything you need. Contact the MLD Agency today and one of our Licensed Agents will be happy to discuss your needs with you.

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