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Some questions about signing up for Medicare
Old 07-17-2016, 12:02 PM   #1
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Some questions about signing up for Medicare

Ok - I've been reading everything I can on the various medicare plans, a, b, c, f, d, etc... I think I understand the pros and cons of medigap vs advantage, etc..

All of this is for DH. He turns 65 this January.

My question has to do with timing of signing up. I read that you can start medicare at the beginning of the month you turn 65... so that would be Jan 1st start date. But I also read that you can't sign up for medigap unless you *already* have medicare B... Which he won't have until Jan 1st.

Can you sign up for them concurrently? How far in advance can you do the sign up?

Looking at pricing (based on 2016) I'm pretty happy. Having a gold plated F plan he'll be paying $250/less month than his current HDHP HMO. Not bad to pay less and get a lot lower OOP. It would save him almost $600/month to go on an advantage plan - but for now, we're going with an F. His doctor is on both plans.
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:48 PM   #2
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My birthday is May 1st, and my Medicare took effect April 1st. My Mediicare supplement is through my ex-employer's retiree program, and Part D medicines was purchased on the open market.

We didn't choose to go the Advantage route as the big hospital chain where we'd prefer treatment for any major illnesses refuses to accept the Advantage plan--and that includes practices with 1700 doctors and nurse practitioners. I understand it's somewhat like an HMO, and we've never been fans of HMO's after many years with Kaiser Permanente.

I signed up for Medicare a couple of months before my birthday online, and it did save me substantial money over purchasing healthcare through my company.
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:54 PM   #3
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If his birthday is on January 1, then Medicare treats it as being in the previous month and his effective date would be December 1.

Assuming his birthday is after January 1, he can enroll in Medicare Parts A & B during October, November, or December with a January 1 effective date. While the Medigap and Part D drug plans cannot begin prior to January 1, you can select them during the same time period.

In most locations, Medigap Plan G is a better value than Plan F.

Plan F vs Plan G: Medicare Supplement Plan F or Plan G?Compare Plans & Save |
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:02 PM   #4
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G is a better deal than F as noted above. Switching plans later is usually subject to a medical evaluation so be sure you do what you want first time.

My recommendation is to stay away of Medicare Advantage plans if you want to pick your own doctors.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:03 PM   #5
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DW is eligible later this year and we will sign her up for a MediGap G.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:19 PM   #6
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My husband has plan F as when he signed up it didn't save money to go with G. But, F is going away in the future so the pool of people having it will become smaller so I worry about premiums going up quickly. Given that I would probably sign up for G if signing up now.

I worried about the same wording on the medigap but it wasn't an issue. He was able to simultaneously sign up for Medicare and for his medigap (UHC through AARP) to both begin at the same time.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:31 PM   #7
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DH just signed up for Medicare Part B and needs to pick a medigap policy. We were thinking of Plan F due to int'l travel coverage. I just read the other day that there is a $50K lifetime limit for int'l travel coverage. Is this correct? If so, I think we'll just self insure and check into some of the other less expensive Plans.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrvlBug View Post
DH just signed up for Medicare Part B and needs to pick a medigap policy. We were thinking of Plan F due to int'l travel coverage. I just read the other day that there is a $50K lifetime limit for int'l travel coverage. Is this correct? If so, I think we'll just self insure and check into some of the other less expensive Plans.
Yes. Medigap plans C, D, F, F-HD, G, M, and N cover 80% of foreign travel emergency care after $250 deductible with a lifetime limit of $50,000. https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-...nd-travel.html

Medigap plans in Wisconsin are a little different. They have an optional rider for the above coverage.

Original Medicare provides emergency coverage in Canada while traveling directly to/from Alaska. https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/tr...utside-us.html
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Ok - I've been reading everything I can on the various medicare plans, a, b, c, f, d, etc... I think I understand the pros and cons of medigap vs advantage, etc..

All of this is for DH. He turns 65 this January.

My question has to do with timing of signing up. I read that you can start medicare at the beginning of the month you turn 65... so that would be Jan 1st start date. But I also read that you can't sign up for medigap unless you *already* have medicare B... Which he won't have until Jan 1st.

Can you sign up for them concurrently? How far in advance can you do the sign up?
....
He should enroll in Medicare A and B in the three months before his birthday. He will get an account number from that enrollment. He should then pick his preferred Medigap plan (I and DH have G as it was cheaper than F in premiums even when we have to pay the deductible that F would cover but perhaps your DH has reasons to go with F that we don't). He will need his Medicare account number to sign up for a Medigap policy, and also for plan D, for prescriptions. If he is already taking SS, his Medicare B payments will be deducted each month, but he will typically have to pay the Medigap and Plan D himself. Both Medicare and the Medigap insurance companies handle a bazillion enrollments a year so it's pretty easy.
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