Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • June 2018
Written by 

Many Medicare options

Medicare is a government health insurance program for everyone 65 and older that was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. Medicare has evolved over the past 50+ years to offer some really great plan options for Medicare beneficiaries to choose from.

When people call, email or meet with us we try to make Medicare simple and easy to understand. Medicare can be confusing because of the different terms used to define it. There are also many individual considerations in the decision-making process, such as early retirement, income levels, working past age 65, travel, choice of providers and prescription medicines.

Original Medicare, sometimes referred to as Traditional Medicare, has two parts that are essential for everyone to have before they can purchase a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan: Part A is for hospital coverage and Part B is for medical coverage. Part A is for when you are admitted to a hospital (in-patient) or need rehab in a skilled nursing facility. Part B is for medical services like doctor visits, ambulance, tests and outpatient services performed in the hospital.

Below are three basic plan options for receiving your Medicare benefits

1. Medicare Part A and B alone is one option, but not recommended because of the potential unlimited out-of-pocket costs. Part A and Part B have no limit on what you pay. If you had a $100,000 bill for cancer treatment, you would pay approximately 20 percent, or $20,000. The bigger the bill, the more you pay. Due to higher cost treatments, you probably do not want a plan with unlimited out-of-pocket expenses, when you can purchase a plan that limits what you may have to pay.

2. Medicare Supplement is a good option to buy from a private insurance company. It pays the deductibles and co-insurance that Medicare Part A and Part B does not cover. These plans start at about $100 per month with great coverage. Monthly premiums increase each year due to age and medical inflation.

3. Medicare Part C (Choice), also known as Medicare Advantage, is another option for Medicare beneficiaries with Part A and Part B. The advantage of these plans is the low-cost premium and extra benefits to stay healthy. You pay a set co-pay or co-insurance amount when you receive hospital and medical services with an annual limit. Part C plans are not age rated, so everyone pays the same monthly premium.

Medicare Part D plans for prescription drug coverage can be purchased from private insurance companies as a stand-alone product or Part D coverage can be included with a Part C plan.

There are many great Medicare plan options for receiving your Medicare benefits, so consider all your choices to find the one that works best for you! 

John Ulness

John Ulness is co-owner of Ulness Health Insurance & Wellness in Appleton. He helps people in Wisconsin understand their health insurance options to control costs and enroll. He can be reached at 1-800-386-0876 or [email protected]

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