Frequently Asked Questions

Our goal is to inform every person turning 65 of all the Medicare options that are available for them before they sign up.

General Questions

When do I sign up for Medicare?

If you are already receiving your social security, you will generally be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare A & B, and mailed your Medicare card 3-4 months before your 65th birthday month.  If you are not receiving your social security, you will need to apply for Medicare A & B.  You can do this online through the social security website, over the phone, or in-person.  If you want to save time, the online application is the quickest method.  Keep in mind, if you are still working and have credible group coverage through your employer, you can delay your Medicare enrollment so you do not have to pay the Part B premium.  

Do I need to sign up for Medicare if I am still working?

If you are still working, and have credible group health insurance coverage through your employer and they have 20 or more employees, you can delay your Medicare enrollment.  Delaying your Medicare enrollment allows you to skip the Medicare part B premium, until you retire and transition to Medicare coverage.  It may be beneficial to enroll in Medicare part A, due to the fact that generally you will not have a Part A premium.

What are the cost of Medicare Advantage Plans?

When looking at Medicare Advantage plans it is important to review their monthly premiums (some plans offer $0 premiums), out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays and co-insurance, and the out-of-pocket-maximum or safety-net with each plan.  Keep in mind, you will continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium, on top of the Medicare Advantage plan premium.  You also need to know that Medicare Advantage plans often have provider networks.  These networks can change, or vary so it is important to know if your doctors/specialists/hospitals are in-network.  

Do Medicare plans cover vision, hearing, and dental care?

Original Medicare generally does not cover most dental, vision or hearing services.  When looking at Medicare Advantage Plans, you may notice they do include some of these extra benefits including preventative dental, vision and hearing exams.  Based on your needs, you may want to compare these additional benefits when looking at Medicare Advantage plan options.  

Do I need to enroll in Prescription Coverage (Part D) if I am not taking any medications?

If you’re not taking medications, you still need to enroll in a Part D plan as soon as you become eligible for Medicare (unless you have creditable drug coverage from your employer group coverage or your spouse’s employer coverage or a retiree drug plan).  If you do not select a prescription plan (through a Medicare Advantage plan or stand alone Part D plan) when you are first eligible because you are not taking any medications, you could end up paying more down the road, due to lack of prescription coverage often referred to as the late enrollment penalty.  Most in this situation will enroll in the cheapest prescription plan available, or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription coverage. 

Who pays the Medicare insurance agent?

It pays off to work with an independent agent – you do not pay them anything for their services.  They get paid through the individual insurance companies.  When working with a local agent, you have access to compare multiple plans based on your needs with no bias.  They work with you to determine if your doctors are in network, and verify that your prescriptions are on the formulary for the plan you select.  They are here to walk you through the process from beginning to enrollment and are available to answer questions throughout the year.  

About Our Services

Garner's Insurance

Garner’s Insurance specializes in Medicare health insurance products. We know that transitioning into Medicare can bring many changes and questions. That is why we are here to make the entire process as simple as possible—providing you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision on what plan is right for you.

Initial Enrollment Period

is a seven-month period when you first become eligible for Medicare coverage. It begins three months before – and ends three months after – the month you turn 65. This enrollment period allows you to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, or Prescription Plan.

Open Enrollment

occurs every year from October 15 – December 7. Other than your initial enrollment or special circumstances, this is the only time you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plans.

Special Enrollment

can only occur when you have a qualifying life event that allows you to enroll, disenroll, or change your Medicare coverage.

General Enrollment

in Original Medicare, from January 1 – March 31, is for those who didn’t enroll in Medicare Part A (if they have to buy it) and/or Part B (for which they must pay premiums) when they first became eligible.ge.

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