How To Apply For Medicare

The way in which you apply for Medicare depends on your situation.

The important questions that determine how you apply for Medicare are as follows:

Are you approaching your 65th birthday or are you past your 65th birthday or are you past your 65th birthday?
If you are approaching your 65th birthday, are you collecting Social Security?
If you are past your 65th birthday, do you have creditable health insurance through either your or your spouse’s employer?
If you are past your 65th birthday and have creditable coverage through an employer are you contributing to a Health Savings Account?
Even if you have employer coverage through your employer or your spouse, is your employer coverage or full Medicare the best option for you? Read More

Medicare Choices Today May Matter More Later

I have been privileged to help several thousand people who were going on Medicare understand their Medicare options so they could make the right Medicare decision for them.

While many people I help understand the long-term implications of the choices they make when they first go on Medicare, I often talk with someone who does not yet realize the Medicare choices they make when they first go on Medicare are often long-term rather than short-term decisions.

The conversation will often go something like this…

“Hi Charlie…this is Robert. I am turning 65 and going on Medicare next month. I need to decide what Medicare plan I need. I am in good health, take no medications and only see a doctor once or twice a year.”

If I were helping this same person with his property insurance, the same logic would go something like this… Read More

“I Wish I Had Talked With You Sooner”

I talk with many people every day about their Medicare situation.

In most situations, the people I talk with are about to go on Medicare so they still have the opportunity to choose a Medicare plan that will give them maximum access to the health care they may need now or in the future while having their costs paid 100 percent.

However, I often talk with people who are already on Medicare and who may not have realized the fact that bad Medicare choices can be permanent and irreversible.

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Why Medicare Answer Center Doesn’t Ask For Your Phone Number

When I started helping people with Medicare more than ten years ago, I was dismayed at how many people did not fully understand their Medicare options when they first went on Medicare.

Importantly, they did not understand the potential negative consequences on their access to health care and their finances from making a poor Medicare choice.

Finally, far too many people going on Medicare did not understand that the initial choice they made about their Medicare could become a permanent choice they could not change if they had or developed health issues.
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Who Is Managing Your Health?

There is only one acceptable answer to this question and that answer is “you.”

However, if you make the wrong decision about how to receive your Medicare, your health could be managed by an insurance company’s budget analyst often more concerned about the profits of his employer than your best health outcome.

When you first go on Medicare – usually at age 65 but often later if you are still working – you can choose to receive your Medicare benefits through regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D drug plan.

Or, you can instead assign your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente. Read More

What Does “Covered” Mean?

Every year I go through training for the upcoming Medicare Annual Enrollment Period and 2019 calendar year.

It usually takes around a week to take the courses and pass the tests required to verify that I know what I need to know to help people who are going on Medicare understand how Medicare works and what their options are with Medicare.

This year one phrase in the training stood out because it discussed a very deceptive part of Medicare Advantage plans.

As you probably know if you have read any of my writings, I strongly believe Medicare Advantage plans are one of the most deceptive and harmful ideas the government has ever allowed to be perpetrated on the American people. Read More

The Most Important Fact To Know About Medicare

This single most important thing to know about Medicare is – If you do not enroll in a Medicare Supplement when you first go on Medicare Part B – or within the first six months of your Medicare Part B effective date – you may never again be eligible for a Medicare Supplement.

Charles Bradshaw
The reason for this is that after six months, Medicare Supplement carriers can ask health questions and many conditions that you may have now – or may develop in the future – may make you ineligible. Read More

Who Is Managing Your Health?

There is only one acceptable answer to this question and that answer is “you.”

However, if you make the wrong decision about how to receive your Medicare, your health could be managed by an insurance company’s budget analyst often more concerned about the profits of his employer than your best health outcome.

When you first go on Medicare – usually at age 65 but often later if you are still working – you can choose to receive your Medicare benefits through regular Medicare combined with a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Part D drug plan.

Or, you can instead assign your Medicare benefits to a private, for-profit, restricted-choice Medicare Advantage plan such as Humana Gold Plus or Kaiser Permanente. Read More

Why Medicare Answer Center Doesn’t Ask For Your Phone Number

When I started helping people with Medicare more than ten years ago, I was dismayed at how many people did not fully understand their Medicare options when they first went on Medicare.

Importantly, they did not understand the potential negative consequences on their access to health care and their finances from making a poor Medicare choice.

Finally, far too many people going on Medicare did not understand that the initial choice they made about their Medicare could become a permanent choice they could not change if they had or developed health issues.
Read More

Your Most Important Medicare Goal

You have one goal when choosing a Medicare plan that far outweighs any other goal.

That goal is as follows:

At some point in your life – and I hope it never happens – you may be diagnosed with a serious health condition for which you want to use the doctor or hospital with the most experience and expertise for your condition and who therefore gives you the best chance for the best health outcome. If this happens, you should be able to get this care as soon as possible with little or no cost.

Being a doctor is a noble profession. But a doctor is not a commodity. Some doctors simply have more experience and expertise for certain conditions than others.

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