Texas Medicare insurance should be easy. Get the help and benefits you deserve today.
For years and years, probably seemed like an eternity, you or your spouse paid into the Medicare system through taxes, you are about to turn 65, now it’s time for payback. I’m sure you have many questions about what is about to happen, that’s normal, now lets figure it out.
Who Qualifies for Texas Medicare?
Texas Medicare eligibility and enrollment requirements state that you or your spouse needed to work at least 10 years in order for the Part A hospital insurance to be free and if not, well you should be able to buy into the program. Contact the Social Security Department to get the current rate. It’s not a bad price but rather expensive for folks on a fixed income. The Part B, out patient part or medical insurance as the government calls it does have a monthly premium that changes almost every year however for 2013 the premium is $104.90 a month for new enrollees. Oh, that could also be more if your loaded financially.
What do I Need to Do?
Now, how does one get enrolled? Well first you will probably not need to do anything. Most times you are automatically added to the Medicare system on the first day of the month you turn 65 and if your birthday is the first day of the month your benefits start on the 1st day of the prior month. Here is an example; My mothers birthday is January 1st so her benefits started on the first of December, hope that helps. Again though, most likely you are automatically enrolled in Medicare however we are dealing with the government so I suggest you call Social Security Administration and confirm you are enrolled and good to go, this should be done about 3 months before your 65th birthday. They will mail you your new red, white and blue Texas Medicare card, protect it like you do your drivers license.
If you are someone that has not met the requirement of working and paying taxes for 10 years you should call Social Security and inquire about getting signed up and be prepared to pay the premium. Remember, if you or your spouse worked the required time this does not apply, you have already paid enough into the system.
Part B Medical Insurance is Needed
There are a few more steps before you are done; you need to decide if Part B makes sense to you. Texas Medicare Part B is the out patient portion of your new insurance. We suggest you elect this benefit, it’s critical to receiving medical treatment outside of hospital treatment and today a majority of services are provided on an out patient basis. Most times new people entering into the Medicare system are automatically enrolled however, we recommend contacting Social Security Department to confirm you are set up.
There is a monthly fee associated with Part B, its running $104.90 a month for 2013 up from $99.90 last year. The B premium is needed, recommended but not required by law, just take it and forget it. In the event you don’t elect the Part B medical insurance option you wont be in a position to select it until January of the next year and it wont start until about mid year along with the late enrollee penaltywe will discuss in detali later. Most times they hold the premium out of you monthly Social Security check so you need to do nothing.
A few more thoughts on Part B, if you choose not to enroll in Part B, fine, your decision but there will be a 10% premium penalty increase for each 12 months you were not enrolled AND you can’t just hop on it when you want, there is an election period every year. Also, in order to get a Texas Medicare Supplement Plan or Advantage plan you must be enrolled in Part B in most cases. Please elect Part B just to save yourself the headache.
How do I get My Prescription Drugs Covered? Texas Medicare Part D
Just a couple more steps and you should be all enrolled. We need to get you prescription drug coverage, called Texas Medicare Part D. Have you noticed the government loves to use the alphabet as a numbering system? Part D was enacted back in 2003 during the Bush years, it received lots of hoopla but does have some glaring holes however congress is attempting to close the biggest one, the doughnut hole, which should be closed in a few years.
Part D is handled by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare and the selections vary by both price and benefits, so be careful if you are doing this one without professional assistance. Once enrolled that is your plan until the next enrollment period, this year it was October 15th until December 7th 2012. Premiums range from about $15 to as high as about $50 a month, all depending on the plan selection.The average premium is somewhere around $31 a month for 2013.
To enroll in this you have two options, contact a qualified broker that sells Texas Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans or visit the Medicare website and follow the steps. Remember, it’s a government website so it gets a little confusing but it can be done. Also, just like Part B there is a penalty for not enrolling when you are eligible, 1% a month for every month you were eligible and thats forever.
All Done, Anything Else?
So, now you have confirmed you are enrolled in Medicare Part A, you have decided Part B is a good thing and also confirmed this with the Social Security offices, you about two or three months away from turning 65… Now what? You probably need a supplemental policy. Now is the time to get a Medicare Supplement Quote in Texas.