Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Begins Oct. 14th and Ends Dec. 7th. Don't Miss Out ...
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Medicare was signed into law on July 30, 1965 by then President Johnson. The original Medicare contained only two parts; A and B. Part A covered hospital insurance and Part B covered medical insurance.
In 1997, the passage of the Balanced Budget Act created a third part of Medicare known as Part C. Part C allowed for Medicare beneficiaries to obtain coverage through Medicare Advantage plans that were administered through private insurance companies.
Medicare changed yet again in 2003 when then President Bush signed Medicare Part D into law on December 8th. This passage of the Medicare Improvement and Modernization Act added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.
People turning 65 years old have three months before and three months after their birthday to enroll in Medicare Plans. Additionally, there is an open enrollment period that runs from November 15th to December 31st of each year. During this time Medicare recipients can change plans without incurring penalties, but once they make their new elections, they cannot change them until the next year’s open enrollment period.
Because of the co-pays and deductibles associated with traditional Medicare, many people choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or purchase a Medicare Supplement plan. A supplement can help to cover out of pocket expenses that Medicare doesn’t. These types of plans are as follows:
- Medicare Advantage Plans: Like a traditional medical insurance plan, most Medicare Advantage Plans (M.A.P.s) have co-pays for doctor visits as well as deductibles for hospital stays. M.A.P.s are available as HMOs, PPOs, and POSs and the benefits vary by insurance company.
- Medigap Plans: These plans are supplemental plans that help cover the costs that Medicare doesn’t. There are 10 different plans that are available and they are all standardized by Medicare. Although plans offered by each insurance company are the same, their premiums can vary.
- PDP: These are prescription drug plans that help cover the cost of medicines. Different plans will cover different medicines so it is important to choose a plan that covers your prescription needs.
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