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More On Medicare

A series from GDA partner Blue Cross Blue Shield on Medicare.

In my 29 years in the health insurance business, I’ve had the opportunity to experience almost every aspect of the industry. For 10 years before joining the Medicare team at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, I owned an independent agency that specialized in small employer benefits. As the economy and the health insurance market changed, our business model evolved from group benefits to individual health plans and Medicare supplement policies.

Much to my surprise, I found myself drawn to serving individuals over age 65 and helping individuals learn the ins and outs of Medicare and sorting out all the options available to them. Working with individuals who are “aging into” Medicare by turning 65 or retiring gives me a sense of fulfillment I haven’t experienced with group benefits in years.

I find individuals faced with retirement experience similar emotions. Some are unsure their savings will allow them the funds to support them in retirement. Another group wonders how they will fill their time after working a lifetime. And others are worried about unplanned emergencies. However, almost all of them are concerned about how to pay for health care.

If you are like most working folks, you’ve been insured by a group health insurance policy your entire working life. Over the years, it’s no secret the cost of health insurance has skyrocketed due to many factors: the increasing cost of care, increased premiums, and reduced employer contributions towards those premiums.

Well, if you weren’t experiencing anxiety about retirement before you started reading this article, you probably are now. I’m here to tell you it’s all going to be OK.  You’ve been working your whole life, and now is the time to rejoice—because you’ve earned it. You do have some choices to make that may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but in the end Medicare will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done.

My last article (published in the May 2017 issue) was very technical, explaining all the parts of Medicare:

  • Part A Hospitalization
  • Part B Medical Insurance
  • Part D Prescription Drugs

Most Americans receive Part A without paying a premium because they paid Medicare taxes while they were working. Part B’s standard premium is $134, but may vary by income. For more information regarding your Part B premium visit Mediare.gov or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

There are many other choices for prescription drug and supplemental coverage that will cover your Part A and B copayments and coinsurance. Plan F, for example, will cover all of your copayments and coinsurance, and Plan G covers everything except the Part B deductible of $183. We will discuss supplemental options in future articles, but in the meantime, please contact the Georgia Dental Association. The GDA has many qualified agents trained to help you choose the most appropriate plans.


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