What Does Medicare Season Mean for Millennials and Their Aging Parents?

If you are like many older Millennials and struggling to balance your time and financial resources between your children and aging parents (officially referred to as the sandwich generation), the annual Medicare season adds to the chaos in your life.

I work with all ages when it comes to insurance and despite the extensive information that the The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services better known as CMS publishes every year people are still confused (I have co-authored a simple booklet explaining the most important Medicare rules for my clients). Basically Medicare season for those already signed up for Medicare (there are a whole another set of rules when you first become eligible for Medicare) pertains to " pure" Medicare products only, Medicare Part D (Drug Plan) and Medicare Part C (Advantage Insurance Plans). Your Medicare medigap (supplement) insurance products are insurance company products they are standardized by Medicare but they are not Medicare products and they can be changed at any time during the year they are not subject to any specific enrollment periods. There are two forms of Medicare, one is called Original Medicare which includes Medicare Parts A & B which you can augment with Medicare supplement insurance policies sold by insurance companies but if you want drug coverage you must enroll in a Medicare Part D policy which are offered by many companies. A few years back Medicare added Medicare Part C, Advantage Plans, they replace Original Medicare and include Medicare Part A and B and usually Part D and often offer extra coverage like vision, hearing, dental and/or other wellness programs. There are pros and cons for each type of Medicare coverage it ultimately rests on what is best for you and your circumstances. There is a lot to consider when making a choice an insurance agent can help you compare benefits, companies and prices (they are paid by the insurance companies - you pay the same whether you use an agent or not). You can find answers to Medicare at www.medicare.gov a great on-line resource.

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