Medicare advice; any way to get advice that isn't profit motivated? - AgingCare.com

Medicare advice; any way to get advice that isn't profit motivated?

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My husband and I are both 64. We're told that we should be preparing to enroll in Medicare this year. All the invites in the mail on this topic appear to be from profit-based providers. Any way to get advice that isn't profit-motivated?
Maybe I should add that we were evacuated for the Thomas Fire, but didn't lose our home. I'm reading that there are enrollment issues for people affected by this fire.

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Medicare Advantage programs combine Parts A and B (and usually part D too) and is cleverly called, Part C. These are private insurance programs that are paid your Medicare premium by Social Security AND more to be managing your health care. Depending on the Medicare Advantage program you choose from what is available in your area, you will get extra coverage above what basic straight Medicare provides (like maybe dental care or hearing aids) . This Medicare Advantage program may cost nothing other than the Medicare Premind you already pay, or cost you extra...just depends on what you choose. A MA program is not a Medicare Supplement insurance. You cannot get both a MA program and Medicare Supplemental program at the same time.
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Reply to vegaslady
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There r also Medicare Advantages I have never understood.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I agree, go to the SS office to sign up for Medicare but only if you r not already collecting SS. If collecting SS, then Medicare will send you cards automatically for A &B. B will be taken out of ur SS check each month. The mail you get is from supplimentals. Coverage for the 20% Medicare doesn't pay. This part can be confusing because you have to pay for it and determine what coverage you can afford. Which ones have copays and sharing. Deductibles etc. Make sure Medicare knows they r primary and supplimental secondary. My husbands employer covered me till 65 then it became my supplimental but Medicare had my now supplimental as primary so I had to tell them to change it to Medicare. This happens a lot I have heard.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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There is a choice about signing up for Medicare....you don't HAVE to, but it most do and you would really have to know what you're doing not to. Each state has an office with volunteers who can provide free counseling on Medicare. Call your local Area Agency on Aging to get the name and number of the free service in your location. It is Medicare, not the state, that sends out the annual book about Medicare and it includes a chart of all the Medicare Advantage and sipplemental plans in your state.
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Reply to vegaslady
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Medicare is a government sponsored plan and you sign up online or at the Social Security office. See the social security website for specifics. If you are fortunate enough to have employer sponsored health coverage that continues into retirement (and then acts as your supplemental plan) you may not need a supplemental policy. In that case, the advertisements can be tossed.
If you will not have employer sponsored coverage, you would benefit from buying a personal supplemental plan. AARP has a description of each plan on their website. Plans are identified by a letter of the alphabet and all companies must supply the same coverage for each version. In that case it becomes an issue of cost or add ons or service. As an aside, despite the fact that both my spouse and I each have employer coverage on top of medicare, we too receive the mail --- in great quantity. There is No choice about signing up for Medicare, it is the supplemental policy that is being advertised. Hope this helps.
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Reply to geewiz
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If you need to enroll soon. You can choose straight Medicare by going to your social security office. Bring I'D and social security card. I recommend a part D supplemental, which if you do not sign up you will face permanent penalties each month. If you are interested in Advantage plans, take the time to see if your doctors are on the plan and if you are on medications see how the costs are. Depending on where you live you may have to sift through as few as 3 to as many as 20 if you are in a populated location. Generally the State sends a booklet to review all of the plans before the end of the year enrolment period. If you have to sign up before this period, then the simplest is straight Medicare to give you more time. Remember that even with Medicare there are fees for Part B,  It depends on your income but I think the max is $180.  It is taken out of your SS check unless you are still employed and can use your employer insureance
By the way NO salesperson should go to your door. That is illegal.
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Reply to MACinCT
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I'm also a few months from being eligible for Medicare. I found information on plans online at Medicare.gov.
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Reply to CarlaCB
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Your best bet is to call Medicare directly. They can give you answers without trying to sell you anything.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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