Your Online Resource for Medicare Insurance: Guiding you along the maze of Medicare

Retirement & Health Insurance

Retirement, the state of being retired from one’s business or occupation, is not quite as simple as it used to seem. In the 21st century, we have seen medical inflation and health insurance rates skyrocket, investment vehicles typically underperform, and in some cases the extra time you’ve always wanted dreamed of does not seem as relaxing as it once may have appeared.

In this article I am going to try and sum up the basics of retirement when it comes to insurance.  I will be discussing Medicare health insurance options in this article, but will follow in weekly articles with topics on long-term care (LTC), annuities, and other insurance products that could benefit or simplify your retirement dreams.

Retirement — Medicare

Medicare is a federal program and is commonly known as the largest health insurance program in the county.  Most people really don’t care much about Medicare until they reach about 60, even though they don’t qualify until age 65.  Medicare is broken down into the four parts below:

  1. Part A (Hospitalization): (Typically free if you have worked 40 quarters)
  2. Part B (Medical): ($115 premium a month in 2011 for new Medicare beneficiaries)
  3. Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans—MA Plans): Prices vary by state and plan. These plans are run by private insurance companies)
  4. Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage): Prices vary by state and plan. These plans are run by private insurance companies.

More Medicare Eligibility Info

Retirement — Medigap

In most cases when you retire (at/after age 65) you will be losing your group health coverage and going on Medicare. When you lose a group health plan you are qualified for a Guaranteed Issue period with a Medicare Supplement Plan – meaning you cannot be asked any health questions to qualify.  These plans pick up the gaps in Medicare, meaning the deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance.  With a Med Supp you will typically be covered 100% if you go with a Plan F—which is the most common plan across the United States. 

Medicare Supplements were standardized in 1992 and then updated with the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act.  These plans are sold by many different insurance companies, but the insurance companies are required provide the same benefits in each of the standardized plans.  This makes it very easy to compare one Medicare Supplement’s plan to another’s.

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