Medicare, and as you approach the magic year of 65, some humble words of advice

Foremost, do not wait until the month before you celebrate your birthday.  Otherwise you will be caught in a mad scramble to get all your decisions done in very little time.  (I learned this the hard way) Also, if you wish to make an appointment with your local Social Security office to sign up, call 3 months before your birthday.  My local office was booked past my birthday, which has meant more than 3 walk ins and wait your turn times.

I tried to read as much as I could online about this big leap and trying to decide do I want medicare original and pick up a supplemental plan – called supplemental or medigap, or go with a medicare advantage plan – we are talking Kaiser or something similar.  Advantage is cheaper, but you are limited to their in house doctors.  With the original plan and depending on which supplement letter you decide to go with, you are not limited as to doctors etc.  But you have to decide which plan best fits YOU.  Many of my friends are signed up with F, but with my research, for me G is a better fit.

Between my reading on line, attending a county/state sponsored information seminar at a public library, talking with many different insurance agents, and  listening to quite a few online videos I found on you tube, the one guy that helped me understand the system the most was on youtube –  His videos are the best!!  And after my first visit to the social security office and being turned down for medicare, in desperation I called him and he kindly directed me to google the correct question to get my ammunition for my next round with the Social Security Adm. (I did not have enough quarters to “qualify”, and needed to apply on my husbands account, but he is 13 months younger, self employed with less than 20 employees, still working full time and after Keith’s guidance found the correct links and went back to the office armed with printed copies from the government website as to why I DO qualify. And they agreed that yes I did)

I was ready to sign up with Aarps endorsed plan with Unitedhealth Care after a long phone call with an insurance rep, but thought I would do a little more research….     and so glad that I did.  Found the group called GoMedigap – and now I can only sing their highest praises.!!! What really persuaded me to call them was their incredibly high ratings on some website called Trust something…( over 1,000 glowing reviews)

I called their 1 866 894 3258 number the next day and spoke for over an hour with Tyler ( ext. 181) Hands down, he was so incredibly helpful, and found me the best insurance carrier for the policy G that I wanted. I can not sing his praises enough! And please note that once you decide which government plan letter that you want with “original medicare” there are big price differences between the insurance agencies that sell the coverage. And guess what I learned – any doctor who accepts medicare, will accept it from whichever insurance agency you signed up with.  The care is the same, it is required by law.

Thanks to Tyler’s advice with insurance agencies and getting into medicare, I will be saving well over $400 dollars a month.  That does add up. Needless to say, I can’t wait until September 1 for all of this to take effect.

Someday this blog will get back on track as to being more art related, but life just continues to throw obstacles.  Our daughter’s wedding is coming up and once done the Medicare thing I  must concentrate on that. And her wedding is a very good thing indeed!


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