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Re: Need help, coaching, guidance with understanding medicare / medicaid for myself.

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@ji7389 you did not mention if you are approaching 65 (Medicare "age") or not. Assuming you are, here are some pointers.

 

There are more than enough ways and places to get poor advice from well intentioned people. This includes friends, family, message boards, seminars (which are really sales presentations), etc.

 

SOMETIMES you can get decent advice from Social Security, in person or by phone. Same can be said for calling 1-800-MEDICARE. The staff at SS and Medicare can usually do a credible job of explaining the government programs but are generally clueless about the private insurance side of the equation.

 

You can also seek out not-for-profit volunteer organizations such as SHIP counselors. Some are knowledgeable, some are not and it would be rare if you found someone who understood insurance products.

https://www.seniorsresourceguide.com/directories/National/SHIP/

 

You can also call carriers direct and get a pitch on their products. Don't expect advice or personal service after the sale. It doesn't work that way.

 

If you can find a local agent that is knowledgeable about SS and Medicare matters that would be good. Ask friends who they used then INTERVIEW prospective agents by asking questions and listening to their answers. If their focus is more on the product they want to SELL you, vs helping you navigate the Medicare maze, move on to the next one.

 

This directory may help in your search.

https://medicaresupp.org/find-local-agent/

 

There are some very good agents who can help. Finding one that works for you can be a challenge but it will be worth it.

 

Good luck!


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Re: Need help, coaching, guidance with understanding medicare / medicaid for myself.

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I rarely go on the aarp website, but I saw your request. My name is Dixie, and I am a former licensed insurance agent, and just attended a medicare presentation at my senior living place. Here are some of the basics. Medicare is for seniors age 65 and up and for those with disabilty after a 2 yr wait. Medicare is not for FREE. "Contrary to what Bernie Sanders states"There is Medicare A, Medicare B and Medicare D, and a combo Medicare C.

 

Medicaid is for low income and is a State and Federal program for familes and seniors. Every state is different and some states took the Medicaid expansion under Obama and some states did not. For example some states Medicaid may limit income at $900 a month, and some states with a higher cost of living may be as high as $1500 a month. Medicaid usually has a $2000 cash asset limit. When on Medicaid almost everything is for free. Many seniors who have low social security income often qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Every Year Medicare sends a book called "Medicare and You" and in it there is all of the plans offered for your state and countties. They also list Medicare Supplement plans that can help with Medicare Deductibles and co pays. They list Medicare C Advantage plans for your area. They also list the Medicare/Medicaid insurance companies for your area. Medicaid has strict policies on asset transfers nothing out for past 5 years. Personally, I make $200 over the income to qualify for Medicaid for my state, so I pay for everything separetly {Original Medicare A & B} Medicare A is for hospitals and nursing facilities, no monthly premium. Medicare B is for all other medical, doctors, labs, xrays and costs about $135.50 a month and this is deducted from my social security check. I chose a Medicare Supplement plan as I need to see a lot of specialists and last year I was hospitalized for 60 days. That will cost monthly somewhere between $134 a month to $180 a month depending on your age. It pays Medicare Deductibles and Copays. I also have Medicare D for Prescription Drugs. Plans cost $20 to $70 a month depending if there is $200 to $400 deductible. I have a Dental insurance plan about $27  a month. If you do not need to see the doctors a lot, then it will be more cost effective for you to do a Medicare C Advantage plan that will manage your Medicare A,B, &D. Some companies that do Medicare Advantage are: Kaiser, Blue Cross, United Health Care, Humana, with monthly premiums ranging from $0 to $200 a month premium. You will have co pays when visiting doctors and hospitals. 

Before you start make sure you are enrolled in both Medicare A and Medicare B. 

First step, get the "Medicare and You" book, for your state and county instructions. It is also a really good book on all of the medical screenings you qualify for. 

2nd step, apply for your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify, If you do this will pay for everythig for your Medicare. 

3rd step, if you do not qualify for Medicaid, then look in the book and look at your costs to see which plans work best for you and your income. 

4th step, there are Medicare Sage agents with each state to help you with all of this, 

Hopefully this information will help. AARP often puts on senior events with medicare insurance agents available to talk to. 

Good Luck, and contact me again if you have more questions, dixie

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Need help, coaching, guidance with understanding medicare / medicaid for myself.

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My daughter in law is trying to help me with my medical/financial affairs due to my health.  We need some guidance or coaching with social security and medicare/medicaid and would love to find someone to coach us through this.  We don't even know where to start, we have so many questions. Is there a professional group or person in particular any of you use for questions and advice? It's quite urgent and needs to be handled as soon as possible, but we are leery of all the misinformation one can obtain online. We have already spoken with several people at 2 SS offices, as well as at their toll free number and also at Medicare.  Thank you. 

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