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Social Security: Applying for Medicare online

Did you know that you can apply for Medicare online even if you are not ready to retire?  And it takes less than 10 minutes!  There are no forms to sign and usually no required documentation.  We’ll process your application and contact you if we need more information.  To apply for Medicare and find other important information, visit www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare.

If you want to start receiving Medicare at age 65, you must apply for Medicare no earlier than three months before your 65th birthday and no later than three months after that birthday.  We refer to this window of opportunity to apply for Medicare as your initial enrollment period.

Some Medicare beneficiaries may qualify for Extra Help to pay for the monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments related to the Medicare Prescription Drug program.  You must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia to qualify for the Extra Help.  For more information on Extra Help, visit www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/prescriptionhelp

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Cómo Elegir A Un Agente De Seguros De Vida

Senior businesswoman in a business office setting.

Elegir al agente de seguros de vida correcto es el primer paso importante para asegurarse de tener a su lado a la persona indicada al adentrarse en el mundo de seguros.

Tome la búsqueda de un agente de seguros de vida como si buscara a un doctor o abogado: busque diferentes opiniones y no se conforme con alguien con el que usted no se sienta cómodo.

Hay dos tipos principales de agentes de seguro: agentes de seguros independientes que representan múltiples compañías de seguro y agentes profesionales de seguros que trabajan exclusivamente para una sola compañía de seguros.

Agentes de seguros independientes

Debido a que los agentes de seguros independientes usualmente representan múltiples compañías, con frecuencia tienen una mayor variedad de pólizas y proveedores para escoger. Esto es muy beneficioso si lo que busca es comparar precios de diversas compañías de seguro o si, debido a algún cambio en sus circunstancias, tiene que modificar su cobertura existente y buscar otras ofertas.

Sin embargo, hay desventajas al trabajar con un agente de seguros de vida independiente. Algunos consumidores prefieren la comodidad (y el posible ahorro) que se obtiene al trabajar con un solo proveedor de seguro. Basado en sus necesidades, un agente de seguros independiente le puede recomendar que compre con diferentes proveedores en lugar de cubrirlo bajo una sola compañía.

Agentes de seguros de vida cautivos

Agentes que trabajan para una sola compañía de seguro a veces son llamados “agentes cautivos.” Muchas veces los agentes de seguros de vida cautivos tienen un entendimiento profundo de las diferentes pólizas que su compañía ofrece. Esto puede ser muy útil cuando busca un tipo específico de cobertura. Trabajar con un agente cautivo le podría dar la opción de “combinar” pólizas como de hogar y automóvil con un solo proveedor, lo cual puede resultar en un descuento en sus tarifas. Sin embargo, los agentes profesionales de seguros cautivos podrían no tener la misma libertad de buscar la mejor póliza para cubrir sus necesidades específicas – especialmente si el proveedor de seguro ofrece productos limitados.

Cómo encontrar al agente de seguro de vida indicado

Una vez que usted sepa qué tipo de seguro de vida necesita, haga todo lo posible por encontrar a un agente que se especialice en ese tipo de póliza.

Para encontrar al agente profesional de seguros indicado para usted:

Investigue por qué sus amigos y familiares trabajan con sus agentes en específico y qué tipo de coberturas tienen. ¿Cuál ha sido su experiencia con su agente? ¿Comprendió el agente sus deseos y necesidades? ¿Han tenido algún problema al tratar con la compañía de seguro? Pregunte acerca de las tarifas que pagan.

Cada estado ofrece diferentes tipos de licencias de seguro. Por lo tanto, el departamento de seguros de su estado puede proveerle respuestas imparciales a preguntas comunes. También pueden recomendarle una compañía de seguros con buena reputación.

  • Pregunte.

Averigüe si el agente que está considerando se enfoca en clientes locales o si opera en todo el país. Pregunte si es independiente y cuántas compañías representa. ¿Cuáles son sus áreas de experiencia? ¿Cuánto tiempo ha estado en el negocio? Asegúrese de que el agente comprenda su situación y sus finanzas. Él o ella debería trabajar con usted para encontrar la mejor solución.

  • Pida un presupuesto.

Antes de comprometerse con un agente de seguros de vida, pida un presupuesto por el costo de su cobertura en específico. Recuerde que simplemente pedir un presupuesto no lo compromete a trabajar con ese agente.

Si tiene preguntas sobre su presupuesto, sobre la estabilidad financiera del proveedor de seguro o los detalles de su plan, no dude en preguntar. Un agente profesional de seguros le dará las respuestas necesarias y no lo presionará a comprar un seguro que usted no necesite

Siguientes pasos

Si está preocupado por encontrar un agente de seguros de vida confiable o una póliza de seguro de vida que usted pueda costear, no dude en contactar a un representante de Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company®. Nuestros agentes se especializan en seguros de gastos finales y pueden ayudarle a encontrar la póliza adecuada para usted que cubra sus necesidades.

Critical Illness insurance Insurance: What Is It? Who Needs It?

Consider yourself lucky you’ve probably never had to use critical illness insurance (sometimes called catastrophic illness insurance). Perhaps you’ve never even heard of it. But in the event of a big health emergency, such as cancer, a heart attack, or a stroke, critical illness insurance could be the only thing standing between you and financial ruin. Many people assume they’re fully protected with a standard health insurance plan, but the exorbitant costs of treating life-threatening illnesses are usually more than any plan will cover. Read on to learn more about critical illness insurance and whether it’s something you and your family should consider.null

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Critical illness insurance provides additional coverage for medical emergencies like heart attacks, strokes, or cancer.
  • Because these emergencies or illnesses often incur greater-than-average medical costs, these policies pay out cash to help cover those overruns when traditional health insurance may fall short.
  • These policies come at a relatively low cost. However, the instances that they will cover are generally limited to a few illnesses or emergencies.

Critical Illness Insurance 101

As the average life expectancy in the United States continues to increase, insurance brokers are finding ways to make sure Americans can afford the privilege of getting older. Critical illness insurance was developed in 1996, as people realized that surviving a heart attack or stroke could leave a patient with insurmountable medical bills.

“Even with excellent medical insurance, just one critical illness can be a tremendous financial burden,” says certified financial planner Jeff Rossi, director of talent development at Santander Bank in New York. Critical illness insurance provides a benefit if you experience one or more of the following medical emergencies:null

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Organ transplants
  • Cancer
  • Coronary bypass

Because these illnesses require extensive medical care and treatment, their costs can outstrip a family’s medical insurance policy quickly. If you don’t have an emergency fund or health savings account (HSA), you’ll have an even harder time paying those bills out of pocket. 

Many people are now choosing high-deductible health plans, which can be something of a double-edged sword: Consumers benefit from relatively affordable monthly premiums but can find themselves in a real pinch if a serious illness strikes.

Critical illness insurance can pay for costs not covered by traditional insurance. The money can also be used for nonmedical costs related to the illness, including transportation, child care, and so on. Typically, the insured will receive a lump sum to cover those costs. Coverage limits vary—you could be eligible for a few thousand dollars all the way up to $100,000, depending on your policy. Policy pricing is impacted by a number of factors, including the amount and extent of coverage, the sex, age, and health of the insured, and family medical history.2

There are exceptions to critical illness insurance coverage. Some types of cancer may not be covered, while chronic illnesses are also frequently exempted. You may not be able to receive a payout if a disease comes back or if you suffer a second stroke or heart attack. Some coverage might end when the insured reaches a certain age. So, like any form of insurance, make sure to read the policy carefully. The last thing you want to worry about is your emergency plan.3

Why It May Be Important

You can purchase critical illness insurance on your own or through your employer (many offer it as a voluntary benefit). You can also add it to your current life insurance plan as a rider, which may be a more affordable option with the same benefit.4

One of the reasons companies have been keen to add these plans is that they recognize employees are worried about steep out-of-pocket expenses with a high-deductible plan. Unlike other healthcare benefits, workers generally bear the entire cost of critical illness plans. That makes it a money saver for companies and workers alike.

A big draw of critical illness insurance is that the money can be spent on a variety of things, such as:

  • To pay for critical medical services that might otherwise be unavailable
  • To pay for treatments not covered by a traditional policy
  • To pay for daily living expenses, enabling the critically ill to focus their time and energy on getting well instead of working to pay their bills
  • Transportation expenses, such as getting to and from treatment centers, retrofitting vehicles to carry scooters or wheelchairs, and installing lifts in homes for critically ill patients who can no longer navigate staircases
  • Terminally ill patients, or those simply in need of a restful place to recuperate, can use the funds to take a vacation with friends or family

Low Cost, Limited Coverage

Part of what makes these policies appealing is that they generally don’t cost much, especially when you get them through an employer. Some smaller plans run as little as $25 a month, which looks like a bargain compared to the cost of a typical, low-deductible health insurance policy. null

Some healthcare experts are skeptical as to whether they really are a good deal for consumers. One overarching concern is that they’ll only reimburse you for a somewhat narrow range of illnesses. If the illness you’re diagnosed with doesn’t fit the definition of a covered illness, you’re out of luck.

The more illnesses your plan covers, the more you’ll pay in premiums. A 45-year-old female with an individual, cancer-only plan may pay $40 a month for $25,000 of coverage. That same woman may pay twice that a month if she expanded the coverage to include coronary illnesses, organ transplants, and certain other conditions.

Like all insurance policies, critical illness policies are also subject to a host of stipulations. Not only do they cover only the conditions listed in the policy, but they cover them only under the specific circumstances noted in the policy. A diagnosis of cancer, for example, may not be enough to trigger payment of the policy if the cancer has not spread beyond the initial point of discovery or is not life-threatening. A diagnosis of a stroke may not trigger a payment unless the neurological damage persists for more than 30 days. Other restrictions may include a specific number of days for which the policyholder must be ill or must survive after diagnosis.5

Seniors should be particularly careful about these policies. There may be limits for payout on some policies, with persons over a certain age (such as 75) ineligible for payment, or they may include so-called “age reduction schedules,” which means your potential insurance payout shrinks as you get older.

It is important to note that many of these policies do not provide a guaranteed payment. For example, a typical insurance company discloses that in its critical illness policy “the expected benefit ratio for this policy is 60%. This ratio is the portion of future premiums that the company expects to return as benefits when averaged over all people with this policy.” If 60% of the premiums are eventually paid out in claims, 40% of the premiums are never paid out at all.

Alternatives to Critical Illness Insurance

Insiders point out that there are alternative forms of coverage without all these restrictions. Disability insurance, for example, provides income when you can’t work for medical reasons, and financial protection isn’t limited to a narrow set of illnesses. This is an especially good option for anyone whose livelihood would take a significant hit from a prolonged work absence.6

Consumers with a high-deductible plan can also make contributions to either a health savings account or flexible spending account (FSA), both of which offer tax benefits when used for qualified expenses.7

You can also build a separate savings account to cover nonmedical outlays that could arise if you have cancer, for example, and have taken leave from your job.

How Do I Buy Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance is a policy that pays a direct lump-sum benefit that you can spend to pay for expenses not covered by other insurance. You can purchase it yourself or through your employer, or add it to your personal life insurance plan.

What Does Critical Illness Insurance Provide for Assistance?

Critical illness insurance can help fund the bills that life-threatening illnesses like heart attack, stroke, or cancer can incur. At your discretion, the benefit from a critical illness policy can cover anything from medical expenses not covered by a healthcare policy to household bills for utilities, rent or mortgage payment, or grocery bills.8

Which Critical Illnesses Qualify for This Insurance?

Coverage is usually limited to medical crises involving heart attack, stroke, renal failure, cancer, paralysis, and a few others. Each plan has a specific list, which varies from plan to plan.

What Are the Pros of Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance provides a lump sum of money when you are diagnosed with an illness covered under the policy. The payout can be spent on any needs, including nonmedical expenses such as mortgage payments, transportation or equipment, or even vacation while you recover. The premiums are low and affordable, compared with those of a typical health insurance policy.9

What Are the Cons of Critical Illness Insurance?

Some types of cancer may not be covered, and chronic illnesses are frequently exempted. Recurrences of a critical illness, such as a second stroke or heart attack, may not receive a payout. Coverage might end or be reduced when the insured reaches a specified age. It is important to note the particular circumstances under which a policy covers a condition, as some critical illness policies stipulate narrow restrictions.9

How to get the best health insurance cover for cancer treatment

The cost of treatment of cancer is exorbitantly high. A good health insurance  plan that offers coverage for cancer can be of great help as it provides much needed financial support. We tell you how to get good insurance protection against cancer.


How do the cancer plans work?
There are many comprehensive standard health insurance plans that cover a wide range of diseases including cancer. These plans are indemnity plans which pay for the actual treatment cost within the overall limit of the sun insured. If you have a comprehensive plan you need to check it thoroughly to understand the level of financial protection it offers against cancer.

When it comes cancer special plans, then most of these plans are defined benefit plans. Most cancer policies offer defined benefit plans where a fixed benefit is payable to policyholder in case he/she is diagnosed with any of the specified early or major stage cancer during the policy term,” says Abhishek Misra, CEO & Principal Officer, Bonanza Insurance Broker.


Many critical illness insurance plans which are also defined benefit plans also cover various types of cancers. However, a cancer special plan may have the edge here. “A cancer care policy is designed to specifically address the medical requirements related to cancer treatment only, whereas a critical illness plan with cancer coverage caters to listed chronic conditions and critical illnesses, cancer being one of them,” says Vivek Narain, Co-founder & Promoter of Sana Insure. “A cancer special plan would consider and cover various aspects of cancer treatments in depth as compared to a critical illness policy. For example, cancer care special plans cover early to advanced stages of cancer, while a critical illness plan might restrict coverage to advanced stage alone,” adds Narain.

Cancer Protection Plans

Mind the waiting and “The initial waiting period, typically ranges from 90 days to 180 days from the policy inception date depending on the insurance company. During this period, the policyholder cannot make any claims. In the survival period, the insured has to survive a specified number of days from the date of first diagnosis of cancer,” says Misra.

The waiting period is mandated by the insurance companies so that it does not have to pay in case the personal already had the disease at the time of buying the policy. “The waiting period put by the insurer is to avoid fraudulent claims, pointing towards people who have already been diagnosed with cancer and they still seek to coverage for their impending expenses,” says Narain.

Wellcare Announces Largest Medicare Advantage Expansion to Date

(PRNewsfoto/WellCare Health Plans, Inc.) (PRNewsfoto/WellCare)

NEWS PROVIDED BY Wellcare


TAMPA, Fla./PRNewswire/ — Wellcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, announced today its largest Medicare Advantage expansion to date. Wellcare will now offer its wide range of Medicare Advantage plans in 1,575 counties across 36 states during the 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), beginning Oct. 15.

“At Wellcare, we are committed to expanding choice and access to high-quality, affordable Medicare plans,” said Rich Fisher, SVP and CEO of Medicare for Centene, Wellcare’s parent company. “As we continue to expand our Medicare footprint, we are pleased to continue offering a wide range of Medicare Advantage plans that include benefits with every beneficiary in mind.”

Reaching More Communities
Today, Wellcare serves more than 1.1 million Medicare Advantage members across 33 states. Beginning in 2022, Wellcare will offer plans in 327 new counties and three new states (Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Oklahoma), representing a 26% increase and bringing its total number of Medicare Advantage states to 36. Overall, Wellcare’s expanded footprint will reach 48 million Medicare-eligible adults across the country.

Highlights of Wellcare’s 2022 Benefit Offerings
In 2022, Wellcare will continue to offer a range of Medicare products, including Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDP), which offer affordable coverage beyond Original Medicare.

For 2022, Wellcare has lowered many of its Medicare Advantage prescription copays by $5 to $10 dollars when members use preferred pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens, and other major grocery store chains. Additionally, Wellcare has expanded many of its innovative benefit offerings such as its Flex Card, which can be used for out-of-pocket costs for dental, vision, and hearing. Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) will now include options like a food benefit, a utility benefit, and a care concierge benefit for a number of personal services.

And for those looking for standalone prescription drug coverage, Wellcare’s PDPs are available across all 50 U.S. states. Wellcare will offer three types of standalone plans, all of which include $0 Tier 1 medicines and access to a preferred pharmacy network, including retailers such as Walgreens, CVS, and major grocery store chains.  

Wellcare’s Brand Realignment & Brand Ambassador Joe Montana
In September, Wellcare announced a refreshed corporate Medicare Advantage brand to better align with the company’s mission and strategy to build stronger brand awareness and engage directly with its members. Centene’s Medicare brands, including Allwell, Health Net, Fidelis Care, Trillium Advantage, ‘Ohana Health Plan, and TexanPlus will become one unified Medicare brand under the Wellcare name.

Wellcare also announced Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana will serve as the company’s brand ambassador.i Montana will collaborate with Wellcare on TV commercials, digital ads, social media, and other communications to help seniors understand their Medicare options.

“We are pleased to share our new refreshed Wellcare brand, which is part of our larger corporate strategy to transform and modernize how we engage with our Medicare members about their health,” said Suzy DePrizio, Centene’s SVP and Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re also proud to have legendary quarterback Joe Montana join our team as we partner with him to help seniors and their families better understand their Medicare benefits.”

Medicare Enrollment Periods

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There are many different types of Medicare Enrollment Periods. These enrollment periods fall into two categories. First, open enrollment is available to anyone eligible for Medicare. Then, Special Enrollment Periods. If you want to change the coverage you currently have, you can do so during one of the above enrollment

Medicare Enrollment Periods for Everyone

Medicare Enrollment Periods can be confusing because different enrollment periods have different dates for various purposes. There are many enrollment periods for people signing up for benefits for the first time.

If you’re receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits when you turn 65, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare.

Enrollment periods are an opportunity to enroll in these plans as well as Part D, or to replace Medicare coverage with a Medicare Advantage plan.

Some enrollment periods are specifically for Medigap. And, others are specific for Medicare Advantage enrollment periods.

It’s highly recommended that you take advantage of the Medicare sign up period.

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

One Medicare enrollment period is the Initial Enrollment Period. The IEP allows you to sign up for Parts B and D when you turn 65.

Your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes your birthday month and ends three months after you turn 65.

For example, if your birthday is June 15th, you can apply for Medicare between March 1st and September 30th.

Initial Enrollment Period 2 (IEP2)

Another enrollment period that is also 7-months is the Initial Enrollment Period 2. The IEP2 is for people who were already eligible for Part A and B before they turned 65.

During the IEP2, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. The IEP2 runs for the same seven-month period as the IEP.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

One of the most complicated Medicare enrollment periods is the Special Enrollment Period. A SEP is when you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug coverage when certain events happen in your life.

Events include situations such as if you move or lose other insurance coverage.

An example is losing health insurance through you or your spouse’s employer.

When you qualify for a SEP, you’ll have up to 60 days following the event to enroll in coverage. Rules about when you can make changes and the type of changes you can make are different for each SEP.

Another example of a SEP will be if you’re switching from employer coverage to enrollment for Medicare.

Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP)

Another Medicare enrollment period is the Initial Coverage Election Period. The ICEP is your first opportunity to choose a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original Medicare.

During the ICEP, you can also sign up for prescription drug coverage.

If you enroll in Part B when you turn 65, your ICEP is the same as your IEP. When you join later, your ICEP is the three months before your Part B coverage takes effect.

  • If you’re newly eligible for Medicare because you turned 65, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Plan.
  • When on Medicare because of a disability, you can select a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Drug Plan. Medicare coverage begins 24 months after SS or RRB disability benefits.
  • If you’re already eligible for Medicare because of a disability and you turned 65, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Prescription Drug Plan.
  • You can also switch from your current Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan to another plan.
  • Additionally, you can drop a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan altogether. If you sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan during this time, you can drop that plan during the next 12 months and return to Original Medicare.

General Enrollment Period

During the General Enrollment Period from January 1st to March 31st, you can enroll in Parts A and B. You may pay the penalty if you didn’t join in Part B during an IEP or SEP.

  • If you don’t have Part A coverage and you enroll in Part B during the General Enrollment Period, you can sign up for a drug plan between April 1st – June 30th.

Understanding the Different Enrollment Periods

There are three enrollment periods for people signing up for benefits who are already enrolled in Original Medicare. During open enrollment, you can make changes to your Medicare plans and add additional coverage.

Annual Enrollment Period vs Open Enrollment Period

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period

Your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period begins the 1st day of the month you turn 65 years old, and your Part B has become effective. Many beneficiaries take advantage of this Medicare sign up period.

For example, if your birthday was August 31st and your Part B effective date was October 1st, then your OEP begins October 1st.

Your OEP lasts for six months; you’ll be granted Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue Rights.

During this time, you can sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan, also known as Medigap.

If you didn’t sign up for a Medicare Advantage or a drug plan during your IEP, the AEP is your next chance to make changes. There are exceptions for those who qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period.

Annual Election Period

During the Annual Election Period from October 15th to December 7th, you can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage.
  • Go from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
  • Enroll in Part D, or change or drop your prescription plan.

The Annual Election period takes place at the same time each year.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

Starting in 2019, the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period will be replaced with the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. This enrollment period is only for those who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and are looking to switch to another or go back to Original Medicare.

Que significa OEP en terminos de Medicare


Si su plan Medicare Advantage no es adecuado, ahora es el momento de cambiar su cobertura
Hay una repetición para los beneficiarios de Medicare que descubren a principios de año que su Plan Advantage no es el ideal.

Entre el 1 de enero y el 31 de marzo, puede cambiarse a un Plan Advantage diferente o dejar el que tiene por completo a favor de Medicare básico (cobertura hospitalaria de la Parte A y cobertura de atención ambulatoria de la Parte B).

Tal vez nunca revisaron su aviso anual de cambio en septiembre, por lo que en enero van a surtir una receta y descubren que su plan ya no cubre ese medicamento este año ”, dijo Roberts.

De los aproximadamente 63.6 millones de beneficiarios de Medicare, alrededor de 26.9 millones están inscritos en los planes Advantage, que brindan cobertura de medicamentos recetados de las Partes A y B y, por lo general, de la Parte D, junto con extras como servicios dentales y de la vista. Sin embargo, vienen con sus propias estructuras de costos compartidos (es decir, deducibles y copagos) y sus listas de medicamentos cubiertos (y su costo), que difieren de un plan a otro.

La oportunidad actual de cambiar o cancelar su Plan Advantage llega pocas semanas después del cierre de la inscripción anual de otoño de Medicare, cuando había una variedad de opciones disponibles para aquellos que querían modificar su cobertura.

Por el contrario, esta ventana relacionada con el Plan Advantage viene con restricciones.

Para empezar, solo puede hacer un cambio. Esto significa que una vez que se cambia a un plan Advantage diferente o lo cancela para Medicare básico, el cambio generalmente se bloquea.

Una vez que se haga su elección, estará en este plan para el resto del año”, dijo Amiro Gnecco, fundador de www. agentedesaludyvida.com y un corredor independiente y agente general para los planes de Medicare. Una vez hecha su elección, estará en este plan por el resto del año.

Además, este período de tres meses no le permite cambiar de un plan de medicamentos recetados de la Parte D independiente a otro.

Si eligió un plan de la Parte D en el período de inscripción abierta de otoño debido a información errónea o engañosa, puede llamar al 1-800-772-1213 para ver si su situación le permitiría hacer un cambio.

Mientras tanto, abandonar un plan Advantage a favor de Medicare básico a menudo significa perder la cobertura de medicamentos, lo que significa que tendría que inscribirse en un plan independiente de la Parte D. Haga clic aquí si necesita hablar con un agente independiente con licencia certificado en Medicare Advantage, planes complementarios de Medicare y planes de medicamentos recetados.

Esto es importante, porque si pasa 63 días sin la cobertura, podría enfrentar una multa por inscripción tardía de por vida que se agrega a sus primas mensuales. Ese cargo es el 1% de la prima base nacional ($ 33.37 para 2022) por cada mes completo que no tenga cobertura de medicamentos.

Además, si regresa a Medicare original y desea obtener una póliza complementaria (también conocida como “Medigap”), tenga en cuenta que es posible que no califique para la cobertura garantizada. Estas pólizas cubren total o parcialmente el costo compartido de algunos aspectos de las partes A y B, incluidos los deducibles, copagos y coseguro. Sin embargo, vienen con sus propias reglas para inscribirse.

“En la mayoría de los estados, deberá pasar por la suscripción y obtener la aprobación de un plan Medigap”, dijo Roberts. “Por lo tanto, es aconsejable solicitarlo primero para asegurarse de que pueda obtener la aprobación antes de cancelar el Plan Advantage”.

También desde el 1 de enero hasta el 31 de marzo: si no cumplió con su período de inscripción inicial de Medicare y no califica para una excepción, puede inscribirse durante este período. Si se encuentra en esta situación, la cobertura no comenzará hasta el 1 de julio.

If your Medicare Advantage Plan is not a good fit, now is the time to change your coverage

There’s a do-over for Medicare beneficiaries who discover early in the year that their Advantage Plan is not an ideal fit.

Between Jan. 1 and March 31, you can switch to a different Advantage Plan or drop the one you have altogether in favor of basic Medicare (Part A hospital coverage and Part B outpatient care coverage).

Maybe they never reviewed their annual notice of change back in September and so in January they go to fill a prescription and find out that their plan is no longer covering that medication this year,” Roberts said. 

Of Medicare’s approximately 63.6 million beneficiaries, about 26.9 million are enrolled in Advantage Plans, which deliver Parts A and B and usually Part D prescription drug coverage, along with extras such as dental and vision. However, they come with their own cost-sharing structures (i.e., deductibles and copays) and their lists of drugs covered (and their cost), which differ from plan to plan.

The current opportunity to change or drop your Advantage Plan arrives just weeks after the close of Medicare’s annual fall enrollment, when a variety of options were available for those who wanted to modify their coverage.

In contrast, this Advantage Plan-related window comes with restrictions.

For starters, you can only make one switch. This means that once you move to a different Advantage Plan or drop it for basic Medicare, the change is generally locked in.

“Once your election is made, you’re in this plan for the remainder of the year,” said Amiro Gnecco, founder of www. agentedesaludyvida.com and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans.Once your election is made, you’re in this plan for the remainder of the year.

Additionally, this three-month window does not allow you to switch from one standalone Part D prescription drug plan to another.

If you picked a Part D plan in the fall open enrollment period based on faulty or misleading information, you can call 1-800-772-1213 to see if your situation would allow you to make a change.

Meanwhile, dropping an Advantage Plan in favor of basic Medicare often means losing drug coverage — which means you would have to enroll in a standalone Part D plan. Click here if you need to speak to a licensed independent agent certified in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements and Prescription drug plans

This matters, because if you go 63 days without the coverage, you could face a lifelong late-enrollment penalty that gets tacked on to your monthly premiums. That charge is 1% of the national base premium ($33.37 for 2022) for each full month you go without drug coverage.

Also, if you switch back to original Medicare and want to get a supplemental policy (aka “Medigap“), be aware that you may not qualify for guaranteed coverage. These policies either fully or partially cover cost-sharing of some aspects of parts A and B, including deductibles, copays and coinsurance. However, they come with their own rules for enrolling.

“In most states, you’ll need to go through underwriting and get approved for a Medigap plan,” Roberts said. “So it’s wise to apply for that first to make sure you can get approved before you cancel the Advantage Plan.”

Also from Jan. 1 through March 31: If you missed your initial Medicare enrollment period and don’t qualify for an exception, you can sign up during this window. If you are in this situation, coverage won’t start until July 1.

Get back some or all of your Part B premium with a Giveback plan from Wellcare.

The credit you deserve with Wellcare Giveback plans.

Get a credit directly on your Social Security check or on your Part B Premium Statement.

2022 The premium for part B will increase If you’re looking for a premium savings you can count on, our Medicare Advantage Part B Giveback plans might be what you are looking for. Designed for people that prefer a plan with a set, guaranteed monthly premium refund, Wellcare Giveback plans are best for those who believe they have stable health care needs that want a savings they can count on. With Giveback plans, you have the freedom to use your funds for other items as you see fit. It’s a flexible way to think about your healthcare coverage.

What’s more, Wellcare Giveback plans come with valuable extras, like dental, vision, hearing, fitness and more – to help you take control of your health.

Giveback plans are available in select Wellcare markets.

How Giveback plans work

Giveback plans, also known as a dividend, are plans designed to reduce your costs by “giving back” some or all of your Part B premium. The dividend is delivered directly on your Social Security check or appears as a credit on your Medicare Part B Premium Statement. When choosing a Giveback plan, it is important to note that sometimes it may take up to 90 days for your initial refund to appear on your Social Security check or your Medicare Part B Premium Statement. However, there’s nothing you need to do to set it up – once processed, the dividend amount will be credited automatically.

For Veterans

Our set of MA-only give back plans are for retired Veterans who receive free prescription medications through the VA. These MA-only plans don’t include Part D prescription drug coverage, so Veterans can pick a plan where they can enjoy up-front savings on Part B, too.

Should I choose Medicare over my employer’s health plan?

How do Medicare Advantage Plans work?I’m at full retirement age but under 70. I’m still working and get health insurance through my employer, but I have the hospitalization part of Medicare. Maximum Medicare premiums are slightly less than my share of the employer insurance premium. Are Medicare premiums tax deductible? If they are, it may be worthwhile to switch.

— Keeping it going

A. It’s nice that you have options for your health

And it’s smart to pay attention to the costs.

Medicare premiums are indeed included as a component of medical expenses, said Neil Becourtney, a certified public accountant and tax partner with CohnReznick in Holmdel.

For federal purposes, total medical expenses exceeding 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI) are deductible, he said.

“Even if your total medical expenses exceed this threshold, you may not end up deriving any federal tax benefit if the standard deduction exceeds your itemized deductions,” he said. “For 2021, the standard deduction for a single taxpayer over age 65 is $14,250.”

For New Jersey, medical expenses only need to exceed 2% of New Jersey gross income to generate a deduction, Becourtney said.

“New Jersey follows the federal definition of medical expenses,” he said. “So, since Medicare premiums are treated as a medical expense for federal purposes, it too counts when it comes to calculating a medical expense deduction for New Jersey purposes.”

Before you make a decision, be sure to calculate how your anticipated out-of-pocket expenses through the year, such as co-pays and deductibles, will add up so you can look a the total cost for your health care