Medicare Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some typical questions American Republic Insurance Services representatives are asked about Medicare. If you have additional questions, contact your local representative.

Who is eligible for Medicare?
Anyone turning 65 is eligible for Medicare coverage. Six months before their 65th birthday, individuals can apply for Medicare. There are circumstances where someone under 65 qualifies for Medicare, usually people with specific disabilities.

What if my spouse is dependent on my employer's group health plan and I turn 65 before they do?
You would enroll in Medicare at age 65. If your spouse is no longer eligible for the group plan, they become eligible for COBRA continuation coverage for 36 months. Or, they can choose to enroll in an individual major medical plan until they reach age 65.

How do I enroll in Medicare Part A and B?
About three months prior to your 65th birthday, you will receive an Initial Enrollment Questionnaire (IEQ) in the mail. You can complete the EIQ online at www.MyMedicare.gov or mail it back in. You will then receive your Medicare Card.

I'm not sure if my medication is covered under Part D. How do I find out?
Since Medicare Part D is privatized, each insurance company has different medications covered by their plans. One way to determine which Medicare Part D plan is best for you is to visit the prescription drug plan finder at www.Medicare.gov. An easier way is to meet with an American Republic Insurance Services representative who can help with your decision.

I'm on a fixed income and need to be able to budget for supplemental plans and potential costs related to non-covered expenses. What do I do?
Contact an American Republic Insurance Services representative to get the information you need to make an informed decision about the plan(s) that best suit your needs.

What is a coinsurance?
Coinsurance is a term used to describe the percentage of the bill to be paid by the policyholder after the deductible is paid. For instance, in the case of Medicare Part B, you are responsible for 20% of the cost of physician services after you pay the $166 deductible.

What is a deductible?
A deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your policy pays any expenses.

How is my Medicare Part A and B paid for?
For most people, there is no charge for Medicare Part A. Your Medicare taxes funded this coverage while you worked. Part B premium is deducted from your Social Security check each month. If you are not receiving Social Security, you must remit a payment to Medicare.

How do I pay my out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare does not cover?
Out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles, coinsurance and non-covered expenses are your responsibility to pay by cash, check or credit card. Your American Republic Insurance Services representative can help you develop an insurance program to protect you from these expenses.

I've heard that Medicare covers home healthcare, can you tell me more about that?
Medicare will cover periodic visits prescribed by a doctor that are part of a medical plan of treatment. Generally, these visits occur a couple times of week for the specific purpose of medical treatment such as an injection, change of dressing or physical therapy. Medicare does not pay if you require assistance on a continuing basis, either in your home or an assisted living facility. You should consider purchasing a long-term care insurance, which offers care in the comfort of your home, an assisted living facility or a nursing home.

Does Medicare pay for funeral expenses?
No.  Social Security offers a one-time death benefit of $255 for the surviving spouse. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the national median cost of a funeral for calendar year 2014 was $8,5081. American Republic Insurance Services has affordable protection from this expense. Click here for more information.

If my health requires that I be confined to an assisted living facility or a nursing home, does Medicare provide any benefits?
No. If the care you need is convalescent, Medicare does not pay for those expenses. American Republic Insurance Services offers insurance plans to help protect your assets from these expenses.

1http://nfda.org/about-funeral-service-/trends-and-statistics.html

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A 65-year old couple who retires this year will need $215,000 to cover their retirement medical costs.
Source:  Fidelity Investments