Responds to Medicare Part B Premium Increase for 2016

Share Article, California's go to place for senior healthcare wants to prevent those turning 65 from making costly mistakes on their initial Medicare Part B enrollment and their Medicare plan selection.

Unlike Medicare Advantage Plans that offer an Annual Election Period Medicare Supplements Open Enrollment Period only lasts for 6 months starting on your 65th birthday

For 2016 the standard premium for Medicare Part “B” has increased from $104.90 to $121.80. This can be substantially more depending on income. Larry Hurwitz, of says "I can’t tell you how many people I've talk to, who unnecessarily enroll in Medicare Part B because they think they have to. If you are enrolled in an employer medical insurance plan that offers excellent coverage then I encourage you to see how much is deducted from your paycheck and compare that to either a Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan." Many people are unaware that they are entitle to a 8 month Special Enrollment Period allowing them to enroll in Medicare Part B once they leave there employer health plan without incurring a late enrollment penalty.

In spite of all the talk about reduction of funding for 2016 Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare beneficiaries can still enjoy rich benefits and zero premium plans in most Southern CA counties including Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, and Riverside. Northern Ca counties such as San Francisco have zero premium plans available and many other Northern Ca counties offer low premium options. Most of these plans include Prescriptions and are known as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans or MAPD's. MAPD plans are an excellent option for those whose doctors are part of the plans network or for those who are more open to choosing a new primary care doctor.

For those who need the freedom and flexibility of doctors than a Medicare Supplement may be the best avenue. In California, the premium for the most comprehensive and expensive supplement, Plan "F" ranges between $130 & $160 per month depending on the specific carrier and the county that one resides. If on the fence between a supplement and an advantage plan, then opt for the supplement. Unlike Medicare Advantage Plans that offer an Annual Election Period, Medicare Supplements Open Enrollment Period only lasts for 6 months starting on your 65th birthday.

Medicare Supplement's do not cover prescriptions, so a separate Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) offered by a private insurance carrier will need to be purchased. Most prescription Drug plans range between $20-$50 monthly.* Larry Hurwitz says "don’t choose a Prescription drug plan because your friend has it, it's the cheapest, or there isn't a deductible. If you're taking expensive medications, it's critical that you confirm that they're on the carrier’s formulary. Have your agent run a customized prescription drug report for you"

In today's day and age people turning 65 need to be more judicious with their dollar than ever and avoid making costly mistakes. To qualify for Medicare a beneficiary needs to have worked for 40 quarters (10 years) unless they can qualify under a spouses work record. With individual health insurance and employer health insurance increasing each year, Medicare is usually a breath of fresh air for those turning 65.

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Larry Hurwitz
since: 10/2014
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