Medicare. It’s a ubiquitous term that seems to indicate “free health insurance for seniors” but brings in quite a bit of confusion once you’re at that age. The long and short of it is that Medicare isn’t free health insurance for seniors. There’s some catastrophic coverage in Plan A of original Medicare. But Plan B is a totally different story.
Yes. If you choose Medicare Advantage, you still have to pay Plan B costs. This is the medical insurance part of Medicare. Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. It’s pretty mind-blowing once you realize that Medicare has a cost. However, this cost is rather low.
According to Stephanie Apt, the standard premium for Medicare Part B in 2021 is about $148.50 a month. Of course, that can depend upon your income as well. Prices are controlled by the Social Security Act. That standard for 2022 is $171.10 per month. That is an annual cost of $2,053.12. And that’s the standard.
You’ll pay for these costs with a deduction from your Social Security payment if you’re enrolled or through the payment method you choose.
Yes. Part A and Part B together is Original Medicare. Part A is offered at no cost and Part B has a premium. So, if you choose Medigap insurance, Part D, or go the alternate route of a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will be paying for Part B. That isn’t going to change in the near future so budget for it.
There are plenty of advantages for Medicare Advantage, one of which is that you have one insurance card – the one from the Medicare Advantage Plan you chose. If it’s Kaiser, you have a Kaiser card etc. There is a huge level of convenience that comes with choosing Medicare Advantage and going through that one managed provider. Frankly, a lot of seniors like being in a network of providers who take that plan – not dealing with Medicare directly.
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