Medicare Planning To expand our dedicated retirement services, BACK9 Retirement Solutionshas developed a dedicated Medicare planning team to advise, implement andsupport Medicare Insurance planning. We will review, analyze and developvarious Medicare planning strategies to assist our clients in making this crucialdecision. We will also incorporate the plan into the client’s comprehensiveretirement income plan.Medicare BasicsMedicare is a federal health insurance program that pays for a variety ofhealth care expenses. It’s administered by the Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the U.S. Department of Health &Human Services (HHS). Medicare beneficiaries are typically senior citizensaged 65 and older. Adults with certain approved medical conditions (such asLou Gehrig’s disease) or qualifying permanent disabilities may also be eligiblefor Medicare benefits. Similar to Social Security, Medicare is an entitlement program. Most U.S.citizens earn the right to enroll in Medicare by working and paying their taxesfor a minimum required period. Even if you didn’t work long enough to beentitled to Medicare benefits, you may still be eligible to enroll, but you mighthave to pay more.There are four different parts to the Medicare program. Parts A and B areoften referred to as Original Medicare. Medicare Part C, or MedicareAdvantage, is private health insurance, while Medicare Part D offers coveragefor prescription drugs. The details below tell you more about Medicareinsurance plans, with an overview of the four parts.The “parts” of MedicareThe types of Medicare programs are often referred to as Part A, Part B, PartC, and Part D. Here’s a rundown of what each “Part” is about.Medicare Part AMedicare Part A is hospital insurance. Part A covers inpatient hospital care,limited time in a skilled nursing care facility, limited home health care services,and hospice care.Most Medicare Part A beneficiaries don’t have to pay a monthly premium toreceive coverage under this part of Original Medicare; this is called “premium-free Part A.” Generally, if you’ve worked at least 10 years (40 quarters) andpaid Medicare taxes while you worked, you’re eligible for premium-free Part A.Otherwise, you pay a monthly premium.Medicare Part A typically doesn’t cover the full amount of your hospital bill, soyou will probably be responsible for a share in the cost. You will also have topay a deductible before Medicare benefits begin. Medicare will then pay 100%of your costs for up to 60 days in a hospital or up to 20 days in a skillednursing facility. After that, you pay a flat amount up to the maximum number ofcovered days. Your Medicare Part A benefits cover some of the costs for atotal of 90 days in a hospital and 100 days in a skilled nursing facility.Medicare also covers up to 60 “lifetime reserve days.” These are days youstay in a hospital longer than 90 days in a row. You get a lifetime total of 60reserve days.Medicare Part BMedicare Part B is medical insurance. Part B benefits cover certain non-hospital medical expenses like doctors’ office visits, blood tests, X-rays,diabetic screenings and supplies, and outpatient hospital care. You pay amonthly premium for this part of Original Medicare. The fee can be higher forpeople with high incomes. A different government program, Medicaid, canhelp cover Medicare Part B premiums for low-income beneficiaries.Medicare Part B beneficiaries are usually responsible for a portion of theirhealth care costs. You’ll have to pay a deductible each year before yourMedicare Part B benefits kick in, and then you’ll generally pay 20% of the billwhen you go to a participating Medicare doctor. Medicare pays the full cost ofmany lab tests and services requested by your doctor.Medicare Part CMedicare Part C or Medicare Advantage, insurance often includes every typeof Medicare coverage in one health plan. It’s offered by private insurancecompanies contracted through CMS to provide a Medicare benefits packageas an alternative to Original Medicare. Enrolling into a Medicare Advantageplan is optional, but to obtain this private insurance, you must also haveOriginal Medicare, Part A and Part B. You also may have to continue to payyour Part B premium if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.While Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide all Medicare Part Aand Medicare Part B benefits (except hospice care), plans can also includedifferent additional benefits, which vary among the individual private healthinsurers. Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage,known as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. Some plans mighthave a lower deductible, while also allowing you to pay a smaller share of theremaining costs. Medicare Advantage plans may even cover certain healthcare services that Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, does not cover, likeeye exams, hearing aids, dental care, or health care received while travelingoutside the United States.Medicare Part DMedicare Part D is optional prescription drug coverage. Medicare Part D isavailable as a stand-alone prescription drug plan through private insurancecompanies, and the monthly fee varies among insurers. You will share in thecosts of your prescription drugs according to the specific plan in which you’reenrolled. Those costs can include a deductible, a flat copayment amount, or apercentage of the full drug cost (called “coinsurance”).If you want prescription drug coverage, you can get it through a MedicareAdvantage Prescription Drug plan if there’s one in your area that offers thiscoverage. You can use the simple form on this page and enter your zip codeto view a list of Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans in your area.If you have limited income and cannot afford your medications even thoughyou receive Medicare Part D benefits, you may qualify for the ExtraHelp program, which offers financial assistance for your monthly premium,deductible, copayment, or coinsurance.As independent agents we can offer coverage from multiple carriers in eachstate. We also include Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plansfor those interested in additional coverages. Our team is committed to makingsure that this process is as easy as possibly by providing you with variousplan options, full analysis and pricing.For additional information call us at (732) 359-3990.