The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.
Cutting Through the Medicare Mayhem
Navigating the Medicare process can be overwhelming, due to the number of options available and the vast amount of marketing materials you probably receive.
To help you get started, Desert Financial’s Senior Insurance Department has put together a helpful list of their Top 5 most asked questions:
- When should I start the process? If you’re nearing your eligibility for Medicare and you are not currently receiving health care benefits as an employee or as a dependent of an employee, you can begin the process as early as 6 months prior to your eligibility date.
- If I am still working, what do I need to do? It may be a good idea to enroll in just Part A of Medicare, to get your Medicare claim number established. In most cases, this benefit is available at no cost to you; it can provide secondary benefits to your employer’s group plan.
Caution! If you are participating in an HSA, you have taken COBRA benefits, or your employer group plan covers 20 or fewer employees, you will need more information to avoid potential late fees or penalties.
- What are my options? Some of our members have access to retirement plans to supplement Medicare benefits; this may be a viable option, but may not be the best value based on your current health care and/or prescription needs. Once enrolled in Medicare, there are several Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Plans available, including a Medicare savings account that you may be able to open depending on which county you live in.
- How permanent is my initial choice? If you are beyond your initial enrollment period at 65 years old and have elected to delay enrollment in Part B, there are additional steps to the enrollment process. Feel free to contact us for details.
- When can I make changes? You may wish to explore changes as your health care needs change. Your ability to make changes may depend on certain circumstances that make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, such as a specific diagnosis, relocation to a different State or County, or becoming eligible for State Benefits. Medicare Advantage offers an AEP Annual Enrollment Period, which also applies to your Prescription Drug Plan. Supplemental Plan changes require you to meet criteria proving your current health status.
Desert Financial Credit Union has been assisting our members with Medicare Planning for over 15 years. Our Senior Insurance Department can help with everything from Medicare enrollment to aligning your plan choice with your doctors. We’ll work hard to ensure that you have access to the plans you need, but pay as little as possible for your prescription medications.
Insurance products and services are oﬀered through Desert Financial Wealth Services, LLC dba Desert Financial Insurance Services. Desert Financial Wealth Services, LLC is a subsidiary of Desert Financial Federal Credit Union. Insurance products and services are not insured by the NCUA; are not obligations of or guaranteed by the credit union or its affiliates; and may be subject to risk.