Medicare Questions

medicare couple looking at options online

If you have questions about Medicare, you’re in good company. It can be confusing.

There are a lot of choices and a lot of rules for the government health plan for U.S. citizens age 65 and older. It also covers some younger people with certain health problems.

Medicare has four “Parts.”

  • Part A is hospital insurance.
  • Part B is medical insurance.
  • Part C is Medicare Advantage, offered by insurance companies and approved by Medicare. It includes Parts A and B, and even Part D.
  • Part D is the prescription drug plan.

Then there is Medicare Supplement, also called Medigap, which pays some expenses Parts A and B do not.

Where to Get Answers

Medicare.gov   offers a guide to help you get started. Another source is the National Council on Aging  .

One good place for answers is your health plan. You can always find answers by going to www.bcbsok.com/medicare or by calling the customer service number on the back of your card. 

Here are answers to some common questions:

What is a late enrollment penalty? If you do not join a Medicare drug plan when you are first eligible and don’t have other drug coverage, you may have to pay a penalty open link in new window .

What is a Special Enrollment Period? You can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare drug plan if certain things change in your life. The period  open link in new window  can be triggered by moving to a place not covered by your current plan or by some plan changes.

What is a Low-Income Subsidy or Extra Help? People with limited income may get help paying for their prescription drugs. The Social Security Administration open link in new window   or a state Medicaid office has the facts.

How can I pay my premiums? You can pay through Social Security deductions. Or you can pay by mail or automatic payment from a checking or savings account.

 

Sources: Getting Started   , U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Medicare Matters   , National Council on Aging; Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs   open link in new window, Social Security Administration.

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