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Information & FAQ

Learn about Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, and what Medicare does and doesn't cover. Find out about Wisconsin mandates for Medicare Supplements and lots of other useful information provided by the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance in the Wisconsin Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare 2018 by clicking here.

To see the Medicare Supplement Insurance Approved Policy List 2018 by the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance, click here.

Q. When will I be eligible for Medicare?

A. For most people, Medicare begins the 1st of the month they turn 65. However, if your birth date is on the 1st, then you will be eligible the 1st of the previous month.

Q. How much does Medicare cost?

A. There is no premium for Medicare Part A for most people. The premium for Medicare Part B for 2018 is $134 per month for most people. However, if your income is greater than $85,000 for an individual or $170,000 for a married couple filing jointly, your premium could be higher. If you are drawing social security, the premium will be deducted from your social security check. If not, you will receive a bill.

Q. Do I have to take Medicare when I turn 65?

A. Not necessarily. If you have group health insurance from an employer, or spouse's employer, you may be able to stay on the same plan without signing up for Medicare Part B. You should check with your employer. Your employer may still want you to sign up for Part A.

Q. I am retiring and have group insurance available from my employer. I can't decide if I should keep my group plan to supplement Medicare or purchase an individual Medicare Supplement. What do I need to know?

A. Be sure to consider your choice of doctors, price and benefits. With most group plans, you are limited to a network of doctors. If the ability to go to any doctor, hospital, or clinic is important to you, then Medicare and an individual Medicare Supplement might be the best option. Also, even if you plan to stay within the same network of doctors, a supplement can provide better coverage than most retiree plans at a lower monthly premium. Just be sure your agent can help you find a good Part D drug plan.

Q. I want a plan without any deductibles, co-pays or co-insurance. Can you help with that?

A. Yes. We can show you plans that do not involve cost sharing, often at a lower premium than retiree plans. There are even lower cost plans with disappearing deductibles.

Q. If I don't like my plan, can I switch later?

A. You can apply for a Medicare Supplement any time of year, but once you are no longer in your Medicare open enrollment (or special enrollment period) you would have to answer health questions and your application would be subject to underwriting approval. That's why it is an important decision. The benefits on an individual Medicare Supplement are guaranteed renewable for life. So, you don't have to worry about your benefits changing every year. Choose a good one from the start and you won't feel the need to switch later.

Q. Are Medicare Advantage Plans the same as Medicare Supplements?

A. Not at all. There are many important differences. We recommend meeting with a Medicare Specialist who can explain all the differences.

Q. I have heard that all Medicare Supplements are the same and that the only difference is the price. Is that true?

A. No. It is true that all Medicare Supplements must provide certain benefits as mandated by the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance (Advantage Plans are not required to provide these benefits), but some Medicare Supplement policies provide benefits beyond these mandates and pay for things not covered by Medicare and most Medicare Supplements. Also, companies have different financial ratings and rate increase history, as well as varying levels of customer satisfaction.

Q. If I decide to go on Medicare, how do I sign up?

A. If you are already drawing social security, the social security administration will assume that you want Medicare, and they will send your card in the mail within a few months of your 65th birthday. If you are on Part A, but not Part B, be sure to complete a paper application, including the Request for Employer Information Form to be completed by your employer. If you do not plan to draw social security, and you are new to both Medicare A and B, you can apply online. Our agents are familiar with the online application system and can help. To apply online click here.

Q. Where can I get help signing up for Medicare as well as choosing a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan?

A. To get help from a Medicare Specialist, click here.

Please contact us with any questions. We are here to help!