Whether you’re a first-time Medicare buyer or a long-time enrollee, finding the right Medicare coverage can be confusing. In an effort to help you find the right combination of plans, we’re answering the top consumer Medicare questions, including what your first step should be, your prescription drug coverage options, and much more.
- If I have Part A, how do I add Part B?
In order to complete your Original Medicare coverage and enroll in Part B, you must contact the Social Security office and actively enroll. Once you have both Parts A & B, you can complete your Medicare coverage with additional options.
- What is a Medicare guaranteed issue right, and do I have it?
A Medicare guaranteed issue right is your right in certain situations to be granted a Medicare Supplement plan – or Medigap policy – regardless of certain other details concerning your health. In these specific situations, insurance companies must sell you a Medicare Supplement plan, cover all your pre-existing conditions, and not charge you more for a policy because of any health problems. Most commonly, you may have a guaranteed issue right if you lose coverage or your current health coverage changes.
- If I only have Part A, what other types of Medicare can I get?
If you only have Part A, you are eligible to also get Part B. You cannot move forward with exploring other types of Medicare coverage until you have both Parts A & B.
- Can I enroll in Part D without having Part B?
Unfortunately, you cannot. In order to move forward with additional Medicare options (including Part D), you must first have both Parts A & B.
- What are my coverage options when it comes to prescription drugs?
If you need prescription drug coverage, you have a few different options. Once you get Parts A & B, you can choose to switch to Medicare Advantage, which sometimes offers prescription drug coverage. You can also choose to enroll in a Prescription Drug plan – or Part D – which offers different coverage options depending on which drugs you take.
- How do I find my Medicare claim number?
You can call Social Security, and a representative there can help you locate your Medicare claim number.
- How do I enroll in Medicaid?
You should call your state’s Medicaid department if you’re interested in Medicaid health insurance coverage.
- What is the difference between Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans?
Medicare Supplement – or Medigap – plans help you complete your coverage. They can help you pay for health care costs that may not be covered by Original Medicare, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medicare Advantage is a private health insurance option that is required to cover all the same benefits as Parts A & B, plus additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage. You cannot have a Medicare Supplement plan and Medicare Advantage at the same time.
- Why would I enroll in Medicare Advantage instead of Original Medicare? Aren’t they the same thing?
While they are similar, there are also differences between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare. By law, Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover all the same benefits as Original Medicare, or Parts A & B.
However, there may be some differences in how you pay your out-of-pocket costs with a Medicare Advantage plan, or you may have a smaller or larger deductible. There also may be some differences in the coverage itself. For example, while Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs, some Medicare Advantage plans do offer that coverage.
- How do I avoid gaps in my Medicare coverage?
There are many different types of Medicare coverage available to help you avoid any gaps in your coverage. It’s important to explore all of your options and coverage combinations with a licensed agent.
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.