Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Things to Consider When Applying For Medicare

Medicare is a socialized form of health insurance used by some countries. This usually works by taxing or deducting a certain portion of an individual's wages, salary, or income and then applying it to a fund that is governed by a governmental or quasi governmental body. This article endeavors to provide basic guidelines to individuals who want to apply for Medicare.

The first and most important step is to read several materials regarding Medicare. This can be taken online or by asking your employer or H.R. personnel. Materials can also be taken from the nearest Medicare office. After reading thru the material decide on the following issues:

1. What plan or plans do you intend to avail of. There are 4 basic plans to choose from but these plans can be mixed and matched.

a. Part A: Hospital Insurance or in patient care

b. Part B: Medical Insurance or outpatient care

c. Part C: Medicare Advantage plans like HMO or PPO plans

d. Part D: Prescription Drug plans which covers prescription medication

Depending n the parts availed of Medicare costs can increase and decrease. Take into consideration your finances, health, other insurance coverage and job environment then decide which parts to include. For example, if you already have a comparative or higher HMO coverage then there is no need to take out a Part C Medicare plan. However if the Part C coverage that can be availed of is higher then decide if the additional costs is worth it for you.

2. Insurer: if you are an employee, especially if you are electing to take out a part c Medicare coverage then it would also be best to look into the supplemental Medicare insurer. Make sure check the number of accredited hospitals, medical professionals and procedures within your locality. They should be unlimited.

3. Ask questions: Make sure to ask for the appropriate contact number to answer any questions you might have regarding the plan. While it is important to read thru the materials it would be best if you can talk to a person to explain difficult concepts.

Out of Pocket Expenses

As a general rule when you apply for Medicare Part A and/or Part B you need to pay additional premiums to be paid by the individual. Now consider alternative HMO and/ or PPO providers. For example, If Mr. A is supposed to pay $100 monthly for Medicare will only pay $90 for a superior HMO policy then it would be in the best interest of Mr. A to just avail of the HMO.

Application Proper

There are two ways to apply for Medicare. The first is to call the social security service in your locality and be guided by a representative every step of the way. The second option is to go to the office of the local social security service and fill out the appropriate paperwork. Find the listing as well as the phone number and even the website on the yellow pages or on the internet. After that just wait for the paperwork to be processed.

By: Matt Michaels
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