None of us ever think we will EVER get ‘that old’ but it’s finally happening…. You are turning 65 this year. It seems all the insurance companies that have Medicare related products know because the mailbox is constantly full of advertisements. Where to begin?
SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information Program) is a program of volunteers providing information. Look for meetings at your local library or find them at www.shiip.state.ia.us. Another option is finding an independent insurance agent who deals with Medicare and its products. Below is a brief summary of the Parts of Medicare, timeframes and supplemental types of coverage.
Part A – is typically an automatic benefit beginning the first of the month when turning 65. If you are going to continue to work for an employer, you may ONLY enroll for Part A. There is no premium for this coverage and it coordinates with your employer sponsored coverage.
Part B – is the benefit that can be ‘elected’ by the beneficiary opting in during the Initial Enrollment Period (three months prior, month of, and three months after) or choosing to NOT to take Part B at this time (they have creditable employer coverage) it moves the guarantee period to a later date known as a Special Election Period.
Part C and Part D – are private insurance products called Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans that the beneficiary can enroll in, typically at the time of taking Part B and based on the individual’s medical need, financial circumstances, and other factors can determine what plan or plans are most appropriate for them. Medicare Supplements are also available and would be bundled medical care with the Prescription Drug coverage.
A great asset is a relationship with an independent insurance agent who can assist with education and provide information regarding Medicare options and timeframes. Most individuals have relied on their employer for health benefits and this is a new and sometimes daunting choice to actually pick from numerous coverage designs and carriers. I encourage you to ask questions regarding Medicare, comparing to employer coverage options and utilizing an independent agent with expertise in the Medicare field, to ensure quality information to make informed choices.
A little more about us:
The Business Warrior group has some of the industry’s top experts in all the areas your business needs to be successful. Amongst the contributors is Janis VanAhn, owner of Health Insurance Advisor, LLC. For 19 years Janis has worked in and around the health insurance industry initially providing service to agents and employers related to employee benefits, individual healthcare and Medicare, while more recently becoming appointed as an individual agent with various quality carriers to provide this service to individuals through her own business.
Four years ago Janis was ‘blessed’ with being let go from her job at an insurance ageny. Staying within insurance was her path…but in what capacity. 2010 was the year Janis began her career as an independent insurance agent specializing in health insurance. Finding quality, cost-effective healthcare for individuals and families under age 65 as well as working with those who are Medicare eligible truly was her passion. She has made this a true specialty and positioned herself as someone to work with whether it is a financial professional or property & casualty agent with a client that needs assistance, to a group of seniors turning 65 and they keep receiving Medicare information and are confused about what to do.
Janis enjoys the one on one contact with clients as well as looking forward to speaking to groups about healthcare. Her excitement for this industry is what drives her to stay in tune with Healthcare Reform and what is currently happening and what will happen with coverage from now to past 2014.
‘Educating individual and Medicare consumers to make informed choices’ is her mission because if people are educated and understand, they will make informed choices that they are comfortable with.