Medicare Plans Designed for You

It is wise to consider Medicare costs when planning your retirement and choose the Medicare plan that makes the most financial sense for you. Partly that’s because there are ways to get Medicare health insurance when you retire. When you turn 65 or older, you are eligible for Medicare for the first time, and you are eligible if you are disabled.

You can get Medicare if you have terminal kidney disease that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS (Lou Gehrig disease). Explore your health options before you become eligible for Medicare at age 65, because you may retire a few years earlier than you expect.

To bridge the gap between Medicare and coverage, you need to understand Medicare’s basic eligibility and eligibility penalties. If you join a Medicare Advantage plan, your monthly Medicare Part B premium will continue to be paid after you retire. This includes the cost of your health insurance premiums, deductibles, copies and co-pay.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday his administration will revive the state health insurance exchange launched in 2013 by his father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. It was abolished by his successor, former Gov. Matt Bevin.  Andy Beshear said he is committed to making health coverage easily accessible to as many people in Kentucky as possible. “This pandemic shows us that the lack of good health care options make us more vulnerable and less resilient,” he said.

“This gives us time to do it and do it right,” he said.

Beshear said it will cost about $5 million to reactivate Kynect and about $1 million to $2 million in annual operating costs — compared with the about $9.8 million Kentuckians now pay through a surcharge to buy plans through the federal government site.  Kynect won national acclaim after it was launched, credited for helping Kentucky achieve one of the lowest rates of uninsured residents in the nation. It was recognized for a successful launch even as the federal site, healthcare.gov, kept crashing in the early days of the new health law under the administration of former President Barack Obama.

If you choose Medicare Part C to ensure Medicare coverage, you should familiarize yourself with the plan options available to you before choosing the health insurance that best suits your needs. Prescription drugs are optional, but you can get them by enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan. Be aware that if you don’t receive Medicare’s prescription drugs when you first qualify, you will have to pay a penalty for late enrollment.

If you want help paying for expenses that are not covered by original Medicare, you can take out a Medicare supplement insurance plan, also known as Medigap. Medigap insurance is designed to supplement your original Medicare coverage, but it is also available through private insurance companies. If you’d rather take out an insurance plan that includes Medicare prescription drugs and other health services such as dental and vision insurance, you might want to get a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare Advantage Plan premium amounts vary depending on the plan and insurance company you choose, as well as the cost of your Medicare prescription drugs and other health benefits. For more information about Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplemental Plans 2021, visit this publication on Medicare.

As already mentioned, Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) is free for almost everyone, but you have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare health insurance, Part B. If you already had health insurance other than Medicare, ask yourself whether it’s worth the monthly premiums and costs to sign up for Medicare Part B.

Also bear in mind that your spouse or dependents are not eligible for Medicare benefits and may need different insurance if you give up your retirement plan. Some plans will not allow you to give up drug coverage without losing your health insurance. The answer may be different because you may have different health insurance.

Your entitlement to Medicare also entitles you to special open enrollment events that allow you to change your hospital plan. Your employer requires you to join an employer – the Medicare Advantage Plan, the Medicare Advantage plan you sponsor – to continue to receive health insurance benefits for retirees even after you are enrolled in Medicare. Instead of providing you with your pension plan, your employer sponsors a Medicare plan for its employees, retirees and their dependents.

If you live in an area that offers Medicare Advantage plans, you can sign up for a Medicare Coordination of Benefits (COB) plan. Note: You can choose a Medicare Advantage plan with a private insurance company.

If you decide to take out a Medicare Advantage plan with a private insurance company, you lose your right to enroll in the PEBB pension scheme. If you decide you need Medicare supplemental insurance when you retire, you might want to read a brief rundown of these types of plans.

If you have Medicare Part A or Part B, you can purchase supplemental Medicare insurance to pay for medical services such as dental, visual or mental health care. The gap between what Medicare pays you and the amount you owe for your medical care is sometimes referred to as the “Medicare coverage gap.”

In most states, Medicare supplement insurance plans are standardized and labeled with a letter. This can help you pay for healthcare costs that are not covered by Medicare Part A or B, such as dental, vision or mental health services.

If your Medicare supplemental plan does not offer prescription drug coverage, you may have to buy it from a private insurance company. If you get a prescription or have a medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer, sign up for Medicare Part D. The PEBB program does not offer Part D plans, but you may choose to buy on the open market. Once you have selected a plan, it is up to you whether you sign up or not.