The Simple 3-Step Medicare Guide
When, Why, and How To Choose A Plan That’s Right For You
(especially if you’re already enrolled)
Whether you’re looking into Medicare for the first time, or taking advantage of annual enrollment to update your strategy, we’ve broken down the critical choices you must make into a simple decision-making tool (including the easy-to-understand questions you MUST ask yourself before choosing a plan).
Important! Laws changed in 2022 and you need the right information to make a solid decision about your Medicare plan.
Getting the answers wrong can cost you big-time! Not only is health care likely to be your largest expense in your retirement (potentially $300,000 or more), but nearly every American over age 65 must eventually enroll in Medicare.1
Making the wrong choices could cost you thousands in permanent penalties, leave you facing high medical bills without coverage, or force you into a too-expensive plan.
In the following pages, I’ll walk you step-by-step through a shockingly simple set of questions to help you choose a Medicare plan.
Have any questions along the way? Just click the button to book a complimentary consultation to get help making these critical (and time-sensitive) decisions.
Let’s get started…
When To Enroll
Do I need to enroll in Medicare? Key questions to help guide your decision:
Are you at least 65? Unless you qualify for disability, you typically don’t qualify for Medicare until age 65. There are some exceptions to that rule, so if you have questions about your eligibility, book a free chat with me to discuss. We’ll help you determine exactly when you need to enroll in Medicare.
Are you covered by employer-sponsored or retiree health insurance? If so, and your employer has at least 20 employees, you may not need to enroll in Medicare yet, but it’s worth talking to your insurance provider to be certain.
Do you qualify for VA benefits or TRICARE? If so, you may still need to enroll in Medicare Part B because VA and Medicare benefits do not overlap. For example, when the sponsor’s active duty status ends, you must have Medicare Part B to remain TRICARE-eligible.
Warning! If you are eligible for Medicare coverage and are not covered by qualifying insurance, you should consider enrolling in Medicare ASAP to avoid late enrollment penalties and higher premium costs.
Now, let’s talk about which Medicare strategy might be right for you…
Why Choose a Medicare Plan?
Which Medicare plan is right for me?
Choosing a Medicare plan means balancing priorities and knowing what’s most important to you. Remember — there are no right or wrong answers to these questions.
Feeling overwhelmed? My team and I are here to help you understand your options and make the right decision. Just click here to book a complimentary 1-on-1 session to get your questions answered.
Choosing Between Original Medicare (Parts A + B) and a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).
Which sounds like you?
- I already have doctors and specialists, and don’t want to switch
- I travel away from home and want coverage that spans the entire United States
- I value the freedom to visit almost any doctor, hospital, and medical provider that accepts Medicare
You Should Consider Original Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) + Part B (Medical Insurance)
- I don’t mind going through a primary care physician to see specialists
- I stay close to home and can find a doctor within my network
- I value simplicity and don’t want to manage multiple insurance plans
You Should Consider a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)
Part A covers hospitals, rehab, and hospice care, whereas Part B covers doctor visits, lab tests, screenings, and other outpatient services. While Part A is free for most people, you’ll pay monthly premiums for Part B plus deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.
Pros: You have the freedom to visit any provider or hospital in the U.S. that participates in Medicare and don’t need to work with a primary care physician to see specialists. This flexibility is ideal if you travel outside of your home network or have existing relationships with doctors you want to keep.
Cons: Services have deductibles and copays, which may require you to purchase a Medigap or Medicare Supplement Plan to cover your out-of-pocket spending. You will also need to purchase prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D) separately.
Offered through private insurers, Part C is often structured like an HMO or PPO and provides comprehensive health coverage by combining Parts A and B.
Pros: Many Part C plans cover extra services like vision, hearing, and dental and may include prescription drug coverage. Plans have an annual limit on your total out-of-pocket costs.
Cons: In addition to paying a part B premium, you’ll typically pay an extra monthly premium for the Medicare Advantage plan. Networks change, doctors can leave, and benefits can change over time.
Now, let’s talk about any prescription drug coverage you may need…
Choosing Original Medicare (Parts A + B)?
Since it doesn’t cover prescription drugs, you will need to purchase Medicare Part D separately.
You’ll need to sign up as soon as you become eligible for Medicare, even if you don’t use prescription drugs, to avoid paying late enrollment penalties.
Pros: Copays and other plan details vary by state and insurer, but they will cover most of the cost of your prescriptions.
Cons: After exceeding coverage limits, you’ll pay the full cost of your medications until a Medicare threshold is reached.
Let’s see if you need supplemental insurance to lower your out-of-pocket costs.
Do you have retiree coverage through the military or a private company? If not, you may want to consider a Medicare Supplement Plan or Medigap.
As of 2022, most traditional Medicare participants had some form of supplemental coverage.2
What is it? Private insurance that fills the coverage gaps in Parts A and B of Medicare and helps with deductibles, copays, coinsurance, etc.
Pros: It limits your out-of-pocket costs for Original Medicare.
Cons: There are many different types of Medigap plans, all with different details.
Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)?
You’ll need to determine whether prescription drug coverage is included. Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, though not all do. Read your policy documents carefully.
How To Enroll
You don’t need to make critical Medicare decisions by yourself
As a taxpayer, you’ve earned the right to your Medicare benefits. If this guide hasn’t given you 100% confidence in your next steps, you don’t need to figure it out alone. All you need to do is call my office.
Right now, you might be asking yourself questions like:
- How do I enroll?
- When is my next enrollment period?
- Which doctors and hospitals will take my plan?
- How much are my premiums, deductibles, and services going to cost?
- How do I balance coverage with price?
- Do I have to medically qualify?
If you are, I’d like to invite you to ask me those questions directly in a 1-on-1 meeting. You’ll walk away with complete clarity about what to do next. We’ll answer your questions, talk about the retirement health care decisions you’ll need to make, and help you choose.
Annual Enrollment Closes December 7th!
Click Here to Book a NO-COST Medicare Optimization Session
1 – https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/personal-finance/plan-for-rising-health-care-costs
2 – https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/documents/f81aafbba0b331c71c6e8bc66512e25d/medicare-beneficiary-enrollment-ib.pdf
Securities and investment advisory services offered through SagePoint Financial, Inc. (SPF) member FINRA/SIPC. Additional advisory services offered through The AmeriFlex® Group. SPF is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of SPF. Insurance is offered through Scott A. Chelberg, CFP® Scott Chelberg, CFP® CA Insurance License #0694123.