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Your Bank > Education and Advice > CNB University

Do You Have the Right Medicare Coverage?

Margaret Meyer
Margaret M. Whelehan is Vice President - Personal Banking/Insurance Agency Manager and can be reached at MWhelehan@CNBank.com or (585) 249-4980 x41034.

Medicare can be very complicated. You understand that something happens/must be done when you reach your 65th birthday. There are many rules that may or may not apply to you if you are retired, still working, covered by an employer plan, covered by spouse’s employer plan. The size of your company will also make a difference.

At CNB, we can help take the guesswork out of your health care coverage. Read on to familiarize yourself with the Medicare basics, but also be sure to call us and schedule a health care review –because there is nothing worse than paying too much premium for not enough medical coverage. We take the time to sit down with you to ensure that you understand exactly what you will have and at what cost. The optimum time for consultation is 3 months prior to your 65th birthday. However, even if you are already enrolled in Medicare a review is beneficial at any time as we may be able to improve your situation.

How do I enroll in Medicare?

You'll be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65 if you're already receiving Social Security benefits, or if you apply for Social Security benefits at age 65. In either case, the Social Security Administration will notify you that you're being enrolled.

Although there's no cost to enroll in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), you'll pay a premium to enroll in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). If you've been automatically enrolled in Part B, you'll be notified that you have a certain amount of time after your enrollment date to decline coverage. Even if you decide not to enroll in Medicare Part B during the initial enrollment period, because you are actively at work for a large employer (20 employees or more) you can enroll later should you retire or decide that a Medicare plan might be less expensive than the group plan.

If you decide to postpone applying for Social Security past your 65th birthday, you can still enroll in Medicare when you turn 65. The Social Security Administration suggests that you call (800) 772-1213 three months before you turn 65 to discuss your options. You can apply by visiting your local Social Security office, or you may be able to enroll over the phone or online at www.SocialSecurity.gov. You can also make an appointment to meet with our Medicare specialist, who can help to make the process easier.

If I'm covered by Medicare, should I have additional health insurance?

It's often wise to purchase health insurance to supplement your Original Medicare coverage, because Medicare generally won't cover all of your medical expenses. Usually, you'll have to satisfy a deductible before Medicare pays anything, and you'll also pay a co-payment when you visit a physician or are admitted to the hospital.

Fortunately, you can buy supplemental insurance from private companies that will help you plug the gaps in your Medicare coverage. These Medigap plans are regulated and standardized by the federal government. There are 10 different kinds of plans. If premium cost is a concern, you can purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, which has copays and coinsurance, but has a very low premium.

If you are computer savvy a good source to compare Medicare Advantage plans is (www.medicare.gov). Unfortunately, none of the Medigap plans are available on this website. To obtain an overall review your best course of action is to contact us to set an appointment.

Whatever plan you choose, you have the right to cancel it within a certain amount of time (usually 30 days) if you don't like the policy after you buy it. In addition, the policy must be guaranteed renewable and cannot duplicate existing coverage, including Medicare.

How We Can Help

Medicare with a prescription drug only/ Medicare with a Medigap and prescription drug/ Medicare Advantage plan. The choices can be overwhelming. We understand and encourage you to make an appointment. Don’t take a chance of overpaying or underinsuring. All medical reviews are at no cost to you.

Source: ©2016 Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. This material provided by Margaret M. Whelehan.

CNB Insurance Agency is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Canandaigua National Bank and Trust Company. Products offered through CNB Insurance Agency are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed, or endorsed by, The Canandaigua National Bank and Trust Company. These products are not federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Reserve Board. Insurance Companies offering products through CNB Insurance Agency are independent of and not affiliated with The Canandaigua National Bank and Trust Company or CNB Insurance Agency.