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Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 985
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: MEDICARE SIGNUP BROKER WARNING!

Message 1 of 3 (106 Views)

GailL1 wrote:

NOBODY has to sign up a beneficiary for Medicare; you do it yourself or Medicare does it automatically, depends on your situation at the time.  Medicare is a government benefit of which you paid for Part A ( Hospital Insurance) during your working years through payroll deduction.  

 

Part B of Medicare is for Doctor and other misc. medical expenses under Part B.  Each beneficiary pays a monthly premium for this benefit.

Premiums cover about 25% of the cost of the program and the government picks up the other 75%.  There are also other cost like a deductible and coinsurance paid by the beneficiary out of their pocket or via a Medigap (supplemental) plan, with the later being their choice - Medigap is not mandatory coverage.

 

Medicare beneficiaries,also have to buy prescription drug coverage, again through private insurers working with CMS and the rules they make to give you access to Medicare Part D.

 

Just to add two more important details to Gail's answer to chrono comment 1:

1. There are sentences about some things being optional. In fact, Medicare itself is totally optional. You are never required to sign up for Medicare. However if you sign up for Social Security, you will be automatically signed up for Medicare Part A. However Part A is almost always "free" (paid in advance by payroll taxes)

2. In particular, Parts B and D are also optional even if you are getting Part A. Many people do not need B and D because they get similar coverage from other sources.  Some Federal government retirees are the biggest examples of this. However,

-- if you take A but choose not to take B, you cannot get private Medigap insurance or a public Part C Medicare health plan.

-- if you take A but choose not to take B or D and later decide you want them, you may pay a surtax to buy your way back into B or D later in life (if you think you might want to do this, you have to figure out if the money saved by not taking B and/or D for some number of years is worth the surtax you pay later; also there are many exemptions to the surtax)

 

Of all the people on A, less than 10% choose not to get B. But of all the people on Medicare, only about a third get Part D (partially that's because almost all Part C plans have integrated drug coverage that follows pretty much the same rules and Part D and partially that's because many people on Medicare have other drug coverage from a former employer or union that's better than Part D)

 

 

 

Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 8,793
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: MEDICARE SIGNUP BROKER WARNING!

[ Edited ]
Message 2 of 3 (192 Views)

NOBODY has to sign up a beneficiary for Medicare; you do it yourself or Medicaremdoes it automatically, depends on your situation at the time.  Medicare is a government benefit of which you paid for Part A ( Hospital Insurance) during your working years through payroll deduction.  Or you are pulling your benefits for this Part A from your vested spouses' benefit.

 

Part B of Medicare is for Doctor and other misc. medical expenses under Part B.  Each beneficiary pays a monthly premium for this benefit.

Premiums cover about 25% of the cost of the program and the government picks up the other 75%.  There are also other cost like a deductible and coinsurance paid by the beneficiary out of their pocket or via a Medigap (supplemental) plan, with the later being their choice - Medigap is not mandatory coverage.

 

That is original Medicare - No broker or insurance agent is involved -

just you and maybe your employer if you are still working and the benefit which they might provide and the government (CMS).

 

Now IF you want to supplement this original Medicare benefit, you can buy a supplemental policy (Medigap) OFFERED through some private insurance companies for which you pay a premium to that company for this benefit.  The choice of which plan you want based on your choice of coverage is up to you and you pay the premiums to the selected insurer.

 

Yes, Insurance sales people sale Medigap coverage because it is private insurance which supplements original Medicare.

 

Does your auto insurance, homeowners insurance, extra liability insurance coverage, life insurance, long term care insurance agent(s) keep in contact with you or is it up to you to call them if there is a problem or you want to change your coverage?

 

Many insurance agents are independent contractors meaning they can sell policies from many different insurers - that's how they earn a living but they don't force you to buy - they just give options, you make the decision.  You are also free to change your coverage although with in Medicare, there are some do's and Don'ts in certain situations but you are usually allowed to change plans within the umbrella of coverage which you have chosen.

 

If you are getting your Medicare benefits via your selection of a Medicare Advantage plan rather than through the original program, once again you are picking from those private insurers who sell these plans and work with the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the rules they make to give you access to Medicare Part C.

 

Medicare beneficiaries,also have to buy prescription drug coverage, again through private insurers working with CMS and the rules they make to give you access to Medicare Part D.

 

Medicare (CMS) does not pay any insurance agent or broker - they might be paid but it comes from the insurance company, not Medicare.

 

For the later (Part C and Part D) you are given an annual chance to change coverage to select another plan available to you for Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug coverage that might work out better for you since many times seniors have health or provider changes.

 

Most every state has a State Health Insurance Assistance program (SHIP) where volunteers (usually) help you with choosing a Medicare plan - supplemental (Medigap) to work with the original program or a Medicare Advantage plan or a Prescription Drug plan( free standing or within a Medicare Advantage program)

 

 Medicare.gov - CONTACTS

 

Do you get the annual Medicare and You handbook?

It is usually mailed out and it is also available online.

 

2018 Medicare and You

 

It is a pretty thorough booklet and has been update in 2018 to be a bit more clear.

 

It really helps to understand Medicare and all its parts -

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-19-2015

MEDICARE SIGNUP BROKER WARNING!

Message 3 of 3 (200 Views)

That nice elderly lady that helped you sign up for Medicare, way back when, is just like other insurance brokers - once they sign their name to your application, THEY get a renewal check every single year from Medicare.  My sweet elder wasn't able to answer my follow-up questions and messed me up on several issues but her name is still on my policy so she gets paid every year!  Ideally, you want your insurance broker to at least contact you yearly (oftener is better) to check on you, let you know about any updates, see if you have any questions/concerns -- in other words, DO something to earn that yearly check!  I haven't heard from my broker (wonder if she's still even alive?) after signing up back in 2012!  And while we're on the subject, ask any of your other insurance brokers if they get a yearly residual check from their companies because they signed you up however many years it's been!  Do you want to "reward" your broker for doing nothing?  It's hard to change brokers unless you make some change in your Medicare plan.  Hmmm - worth checking into?