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Medicare Decisions for Retirees in Central Texas

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

As your 65th birthday approaches, you have some decisions to make. You will likely be flooded with mail and phone calls regarding your healthcare option plans. While navigating Medicare options can be confusing, Morris & Pursley Financial Plans can help you understand your options. What are some considerations for Texans who want to understand their Medicare choices?

When should I sign up for Medicare?

Typically, Medicare is available for people aged 65 or older (with a couple of exceptions). Medicare has Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medicare Insurance). Medicare Advantage Plans are another option to get your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare-approved private companies offer these plans.

The earliest you can sign up for a Medicare supplement to cover what Medicare doesn't pay is when you are 64 and six months. You can enroll in a Medicare supplement plan up to six months before your 65th birthday. However, you cannot enroll in Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage (Part C), or a Part D Prescription Drug plan until three months before your 65th birthday.

You are eligible for Original Medicare (Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance) at age 65. Still, you can sign up for it as early as three months before your 65th birthday, and as late as three months after the month you turn 65. These seven months are called your Initial Enrollment Period. If you don't sign up within this time or within eight months of leaving a job with group health coverage, you may pay late-enrollment penalties for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Part D (prescription drug coverage).

What is Medicare Advantage?

Most Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug coverage (Part D). These plans limit what you'll have to pay out-of-pocket each year for covered services. Some plans offer non-emergency coverage out-of-network but typically at a higher cost. Still, you'll likely need to use in-network health care providers for the majority of your care.

These are the most common types of Medicare Advantage Plans:

Medicare is complicated. Where do I start?

Since plans occasionally change, there are several questions we recommend that you ask yourself before making any final decisions.

  1. Do you like to travel? Some plans have restrictions, and our team can discuss those with you.

  2. Are there particular doctors or specialists you want to have on your plan?

  3. Do you want the ability to go to any doctor you want, whenever you want?

  4. Are there specific medications you need to be covered on your plan?

  5. How do you reduce out-of-pocket expenses?

  6. Do you simply want a comprehensive review of your current policy?

Sometimes it helps to talk through these options with a professional financial advisor. Not all financial advisors are created equally. If you are retired or nearing retirement, consider looking for someone specializing in retirement income planning.

What is the best Medicare plan for me?

You may want to consider the following details with your financial advisor as you make your Medicare plan decisions:

  • Premiums—the cost you pay to keep your policy in force. You are usually paying monthly.

  • Deductibles—the amount you pay before insurance kicks in.

  • Copays—the fixed amount you pay after the deductible.

  • Coinsurance—the percentage you pay per healthcare service claim.

  • Networks—facilities, providers, and suppliers contracted in a plan.

  • Drug formularies—the list of prescription drugs covered in a plan.

  • Other benefits include dental, hearing, and vision.

You have many options, and Morris & Pursley Financial Plans can help you navigate all your choices. We can review programs you may qualify for to reduce your overall out-of-pocket expenses and provide 24/7 access to resources and advice to answer any questions. Don't hesitate to contact us for a no-risk appointment when you're ready.

Disclosure: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. As an RICP (Retirement Income Certified Professional) financial advisor, I am sharing general knowledge and insights based on my professional expertise. The strategies and concepts discussed may not be suitable for everyone, and individual circumstances should be taken into consideration. It is recommended to consult with a qualified financial professional before making any financial decisions. I am not affiliated with any specific financial institution or company mentioned in this article. This blog post is not an endorsement or recommendation of any specific financial products or services. The content provided is accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing, but it may not reflect the most current regulations or developments in the financial industry. Please consult with a professional advisor for up-to-date and personalized advice tailored to your individual financial goals and circumstances.

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