you need to take to avoid a late-enrollment penalty. Before you retire, Social Security requires your employer to complete the Request for Employment Information form, which states the date through which you had creditable coverage. This form will exempt you from the late-enrollment penalty.
To learn more about how to avoid late-enrollment penalties, attend a no-cost educational Medicare meeting. If you have Original Medicare, you can choose to go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. All Sharp-affiliated doctors, hospitals and medical groups accept Original Medicare. If you are considering Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you may also want to consider enrolling in a Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Supplement insurance plan. These are both optional add-ons to Original Medicare.
All about Part D — Prescription Drug Coverage
Parts A and B of Original Medicare do not include drug coverage. If you want to add drug coverage, you will need to choose a Part D plan and pay a monthly premium.
These plans are offered through private insurance companies, not the federal government. The cost for a Part D plan, and the drugs included in the plan, varies based on the plan you choose.
If you go 63 days or more without a Part D plan (or other credible drug coverage) after your initial enrollment period is over, you may owe a late-enrollment penalty. The late-enrollment penalty is calculated by multiplying 1 percent of the national base premium for a Part D plan by the number of full uncovered months you were eligible but didn’t join a Medicare prescription drug plan.
All about Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans (Medigap)
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, also known as Medigap plans, cover “gaps” in Parts A and B of Original Medicare. Gaps are costs that you are responsible for, such as deductibles and copays. The policy cost and coverage depend on the plan you select. These plans are offered through private insurance companies, not the federal government. When you choose a Medicare Supplement plan, you can continue to go to any hospital or physician that accepts Medicare. Sharp accepts all Medicare Supplement plans.
All about Medicare Advantage (Part C)
Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C plans, provide coverage beyond Original Medicare Parts A (hospital coverage) and B (outpatient coverage). These plans are offered through private insurance companies, not the federal government. A Medicare Advantage plan is an alternative to having a Part D and Medicare Supplement plan. You cannot have both a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan.
Medicare Advantage plans offer the same coverage as Medicare Parts A and B, and may include prescription drug coverage, plus extra benefits like vision, hearing and dental, as well as access to care management services. These plans also provide financial protection through annual limits on out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare Advantage plans offer a low or no-cost monthly health plan premium beyond what you pay for Part B and give you access to care from doctors and hospitals that are within the plan’s network.
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