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Navigating Medicare

Navigating Medicare

May 01, 2024

How can I find the right medical plan for my retirement?


Having reliable medical care is vital for living a healthy life, especially in retirement. However, healthcare costs can skyrocket for many people due to rising treatment costs. Indeed, based on a study, a healthy 65-year-old couple can expect their lifetime healthcare expenses to add up to around $597,389 before accounting for inflation.[1] In another survey, 35% of all workers reported they were either “not too” or “not at all” confident that they would have enough money to pay for their medical expenses in retirement. [

Fortunately, there are several affordable options available for you. One such option is Medicare, the U.S. government’s health care system. You qualify for Medicare when you turn 65 and have at least one of the following:

  1. Receive or qualify for Social Security retirement benefits.
  2. Currently reside in the US and are either:
    1. A U.S. citizen.
    2. A permanent U.S. resident who has lived in the States continuously for five years prior.

Medicare is made up of several parts, which cover the various areas of health care and medical treatments. These include:

  • Part A: Hospital Stay coverage. This covers time spent in the hospital for emergencies or other reasons. This may be free if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years before retirement.
  • Part B: General Medical coverage, which covers health care services, outpatient and home health care, and medical equipment.
  • Part C: Medicare Advantage. This is a Medicare-approved supplemental coverage offered by 3rd party insurance companies which can often be useful for covering treatments from specialists. Typically, they combine Medicare Parts A and B, and may also include Medicare Part D. Part C may also cover:
    • Vision
    • Hearing
    • Dental Insurance
  • Part D: Prescription Drug coverage.

 

Note that you must enroll in Part D when you first enroll for Medicare. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a late penalty later. The same goes for the Medicare Advantage coverage (Part C).


Always ask your insurance company if Part D is included in your Medicare Advantage coverage.

 

There is a monthly premium for Part B, and for some individuals, Part A will include one as well. If you also opt to enroll in Part C, you’ll be picking up an additional premium with your third-party insurance company in addition to the existing premiums for Part A/B. Part C is only available if you decide to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B as well.

 

For questions regarding your Medicare eligibility, we'd be happy to schedule a time to talk to discuss how we can be of help.

 

[1] HVSFinancial.com, 2022

[2] EBRI.org, 2022

 

Additional Resources:

Healthcare Costs in Retirement | JPB Financial (jpb-financial.com)

Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C) | JPB Financial (jpb-financial.com)

Medicare At 65+ | JPB Financial (jpb-financial.com)

Medicare Advantage 101 | JPB Financial (jpb-financial.com)

Breaking Down the Parts of Medicare | JPB Financial (jpb-financial.com)