If you are like me, regardless of age, then many other words come to mind when someone mentions Medicare. Mainly words like retirement, older, government insurance, not required yet, too young to consider, and even - it can wait. Yet for the growing number of Millennial and Sandwich generation caregivers, this topic can't wait. Why? Well if you had a chance to listen to my previous podcast with attorney Virginia Samson, as we discuss Caregiver Compliance then you know your loved one will need a designated person to speak on their behalf to help them establish or maintain their Medicare coverage. In that respect, you will need to know more about Medicare sooner than you probably planned on.
Meet Joe & Monique Barajas, co-owners of Barajas Insurance Group. Both are licensed agents who live and breathe the ins and outs of Medicare and train new agents as well to do the same. Today's podcast is a BIG deal, pun intended, so I wanted two experts instead of one, to help me dig into the details within Medicare. So find a comfy spot, maybe grab a pen and paper because you’re going to want to take more than mental notes during this Medicare part 2 episode. You can catch up on the Medicare part 1 episode on www.JessicaLizelCannon.com/Podcast.
>Can my loved one have Medicare and Medicare Advantage?
Unfortunately, this is not a short yes/no answer. If you have Medicare with Medicare Supplement Insurance, then-No. The options sound similar but are still quite different. Of these two options, Medicare Advantage can be purchased as an alternative to the supplements or Medigap Insurance alongside original Medicare but you cannot have both, Medicare Advantage and Supplement or Medigap Insurance. Medicare Supplements will only pay if Medicare pays first.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you are still enrolled in the Medicare Program. In Fact, you must sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B in order to be eligible for a Medicare Advantage Plan. The difference comes down to your medical needs and choice of financial impact. That impact could be based on whether or not you pay a high or low deductible, copay or co-insurance, or the deductible up front in the calendar year or as needed. The plans are designed to meet various types of needs.
The only possible way to double up on coverage would be to have one of the Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plan with Veteran benefits as well.
>What is the Donut Hole or Medigap Insurance?
gap Insurance is to enhance Original Medicare. You must have Part A and Part B. If you purchase Medigap Insurance then you cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan. Medigap Insurance only covers one person so you and your spouse would have to purchase separate policies. This policy would not cover your children either. These supplemental policies are designed to help cover copayments, coinsurance, and even deductibles to eliminate your total out of pocket costs.
Medigap policies do not cover long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing. Plans sold after January 1, 2006, are not allowed to include prescription drug coverage. You still have to purchase Part D for drug coverage. It is illegal for anyone to sell you a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan unless you are switching back to Original Medicare.
>How do I find the most up to date information?
These are federal and state-run programs so you can find the most current information under websites such as www.Medicare.gov or www.SSA.gov. All other websites with .com are designed for sales even if the word Medicare is included. You can find agencies or sales representatives who look like they are for Medicare services but are only there to sell you on what benefits them not you.
This is also why it is important to find agents like Joe & Monique Barajas, from Barajas Insurance Group, who are there to help and educate rather than simply sell a product to you. There is quite a bit of information to learn which can be frustrating when you get started. Referrals from friends and family may also be a good place to start if you are not in the coverage area of Barajas Insurance Group.
>Beware of Medicare and Social Security Scans.
It is extremely upsetting to know there are so many people in the world ready and able to take advantage of you or your loved one simply to gain confidential information. It is more upsetting knowing seniors are targeted for their much needed social security benefits. It is yet another reason to be proactive to become more aware of options prior to finding yourself in crisis mode.
As you begin to make phone calls and solicit your own inquiries on behalf of your loved ones, then keep in mind the Social Security Administration will never cold call you. These are social services paid for by federal and state funding so there is no marketing for profit involved. Never give out your information over the phone to random callers or click on links in emails or text messages. Be aware of questions asked phishing for answers to potential security questions. Stay vigilant! With many areas of advancement in technology, there is a culprit waiting to use it against us and our vulnerable love ones.
Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite app. Not finding it there? Let me know and I will do what I can to get it added!
Intro: Vacation Time by Khris Paradise
Outro: Misty by Khris Paradise