Weekend Reading: The ABCs (and D’s) of Medicare Coverage

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

If you’re enrolling in Medicare this year or are looking to switch plans, make note that the open enrollment period for 2023 runs from October 15 to December 7.


Further, it’s vital to understand the various parts and plans associated with Medicare, so here is a breakdown:

📌 Part A: Provides hospital coverage up to 100 days. Enrollment in Part A and Part B is done through the Social Security Administration.

📌 Part B: Covers outpatient services like doctor visits, lab work, physical therapy and more. Part B premiums are income-based and determined by your tax returns from two years prior.

📌 Part C: Offers Medigap supplemental coverage or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Parts C and D are optional and offered by private insurance companies. Medigap has more predictability with higher upfront premiums, but lower cost-sharing. Medicare Advantage plans have lower upfront premiums, but higher copays, co-insurance and deductibles.

📌 Part D: Provides prescription drug coverage. Part D, while optional, can lead to penalties if not enrolled in when first eligible, and these penalties can increase over time.

You may be surprised to find that Medicare not only comes at an expense, but also includes income-adjusted surcharges. Your health is your wealth, so to ensure the coverage you need, it’s often helpful to partner with a professional.