Medicare’s open enrollment period started on Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, 2023. Now is the time to reevaluate your Medicare insurance which typically consists of Part A, Part B, a Medigap policy or Medicare Advantage Plan, and a Part D drug plan.
Medicare Part A is the hospital coverage insurance. If you or a spouse have worked 10 years or more, you are not charged a premium for Part A.
Medicare Part B* covers non-hospital (medical) services. Social Security recipients will see this as a monthly deduction from their benefits. 2024’s monthly premiums will be $174.70.* There is an annual deductible of $240 for 2024, and co-insurance of 20 percent on covered services for which the patient is responsible.
Choices for Gap Premium coverage: Gap coverage pays the 20-percent Part B deductibles for covered medical services and drug costs, depending on the plan.
Medicare Part C is an option sometimes referred to as a “Medicare Advantage Plan.” These plans work similarly to an HMO or PPO plan with varied deductibles and are less expensive than a traditional Medigap plan. They sometimes provide other benefits such as drug, vision, dental and hearing coverage, all wrapped into one plan.
Medigap coverage is a second option in place of Medicare Part C which only works with original Medicare. Medigap policies are standardized and in most states are named by letters: Plans A-N. Compare the benefits each plan helps pay for and choose a plan that covers what you need. Premiums will vary from county to county in Florida. A popular Medigap Plan is offered by AARP United Healthcare. Plans like this do not provide drug, vision, dental or hearing coverage. Unlike Medicare Part C you are not restricted to plan participants; you can see any healthcare provider who takes Medicare.
Medicare Part D* provides prescription drug plans that help cover your drug costs for those who have standard Medicare and Medigap coverage (but not a Medicare Advantage Plan). Signing up for Part D when you sign up for Medicare will save you a late penalty charge of around 12 percent.
If you don’t want to change your insurance during open enrollment, simply do nothing and your insurance will remain the same. However, if you wish to explore other options, visit Medicare.gov for more information. The Medical Center also offers a Medicare Information page in the Resources menu of this website. The page provides links that will help guide you to useful information at Medicare.gov, along with links to help you find Medigap policies and compare Medicare Advantage Plans in your Zip Code. You will also find a downloadable and printable copy of Medicare’s 2024 handbook, “Medicare & You.”
*If your modified adjusted gross income (MAGA) is over $97,000 a year, Medicare will assess an income related monthly adjustment (IRMA).