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Medicare & Retirement

Navigating Medicare: A Comprehensive Guide

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for individuals aged 65 and older, although certain younger individuals with disabilities may also qualify. The program is divided into different parts, each covering specific aspects of healthcare.

The Four Parts of Medicare:

Part A - Hospital Insurance:
Covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care.
Enrollment Period: You are automatically enrolled in Part A if you're receiving Social Security benefits. If not, you can enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

Part B - Medical Insurance:
Covers outpatient care, doctor visits, preventive services, and some home health care.
Enrollment Period: Enroll during your IEP to avoid late penalties. If you're still working and have employer-based coverage, you can delay enrollment without penalties. However, once you lose employer coverage, you have eight months to enroll in Part B.

Part C - Medicare Advantage:
An alternative to Original Medicare, Part C is offered by private insurance companies. It includes the benefits of Parts A and B and often includes additional services, like vision and dental coverage.

Part D - Prescription Drug Coverage:
Provides prescription drug coverage through private insurance plans approved by Medicare.

Enrollment Periods:

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP):
Begins three months before you turn 65 and continues for seven months (three months before, the month of, and three months after your 65th birthday).

Special Enrollment Period (SEP):
If you're still working and have employer-based coverage, you can enroll in Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period without facing late penalties.

Additional Considerations:

Medigap (Supplemental Insurance):
Helps cover the "gaps" in Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA):
Higher-income individuals may pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B and Part D.

The opinions expressed in this material are for general informational purposes and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any products.  The information contained in this article was developed from sources believed to be accurate.  This material is not intended as tax or legal advice.  It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties.  Please consult legal and/or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.  For more complete information please access the government website

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