Make Medicare your priority during the open enrollment window, Oct. 15-Dec. 7.
With retirement age comes an increasing concern for health care and possible illnesses. For many older Americans, medical bills and insurance are too expensive to afford. So the government developed the Medicare program to help individuals with these costs. According to many recent statistics, Medicare currently provides health coverage per year to just over 50 million Americans, primarily the elderly and disabled.
Open enrollment for Medicare only happens once per year. For the 2016 coverage year, this period is from October 15th through December 7th, with the coverage period beginning on January 1, 2016. If you’re 65 or older, this is the ideal time to reevaluate your current coverage and potentially make changes. If you’re about to turn 65 after the open enrollment period, Medicare allows some flexibility so coverage can begin the month of your birthday or the month after.
To provide some clarity on Medicare, there are four main categories that make up Medicare insurance. Generally, Part A covers inpatient care in the hospital, hospice, nursing home and home health care. Long-term care however is not covered. Part B covers doctor’s visits, testing and outpatient care and Part C is the Advantage program, which allows private health insurance companies to provide benefits.
Medicare Part D may stand out as one you’ve heard more often. It is a program that can work along with original Medicare coverage or alone and offers affordable coverage for prescription drugs. This plan may require a monthly premium and varies depending on the plan, deductible and state. In cases where there is a deductible, once it is reached, the enrollee pays only a small cost for generic or brand name prescription drugs.
While it may be noted that Medicare has strengthened slightly over the last few years, it certainly isn’t free of problems. Medicare faces a financial shortfall that could compromise the care of millions of individuals. It’s now more important than ever to understand the Medicare changes from year-to-year in order to plan appropriately to cover out-of-pocket costs. In fact, in 2016 certain groups may actually be required to pay much higher premiums, such as those who are enrolling in Medicare for the first during this enrollment period.
Now is the ideal time to ensure that your financial roadmap is in place and fits your current situation. This Medicare open enrollment period offers the chance to obtain or revisit coverage and costs. If you have questions about how Medicare costs can affect your overall financial situation, contact Andrew Rafal, President Bayntree Wealth Advisors. The team at Bayntree understands how Medicare and health care costs should fit into a holistic financial plan.
At Bayntree Wealth Advisors, we believe in a holistic approach to addressing your financial needs. We are committed to building long-lasting relationships with our clients that extend beyond portfolio and investment management. Our unique planning approach allows us to create comprehensive financial solutions for our clients throughout all phases of life.