Column: How 2015 changes will affect you

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Commentary by Frank Gordon

Gordon

Gordon

“How might 2015 Medicare changes affect my bottom line?” you may ask. There is a lot of talk these days about the current ins and outs of Medicare. Many more Americans are affected this year, and your family’s unique circumstances require careful planning. You can best benefit from expert guidance via a knowledgeable independent insurance agent.

The Medicare program, with an estimated more than 50 million Americans currently enrolled, dates back to 1965. Created by the U.S. Social Security Administration, it reimburses hospitals and physicians for medical care provided to qualifying people 65 and older.

The four parts of Medicare include:

● Part A – Hospital Coverage: free and covers inpatient care in skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, hospice and home health care.

● Part B – Doctor Coverage: based on income levels, covers outpatient care, doctor’s services, physical or occupational therapists, and additional home health care.

● Part C – (often called Medicare Advantage) offers a combination of both Medicare Parts A and B: is provided by private insurance companies, and has deductibles, co-pays and provider networks. Consumers should keep careful track of rates and coverage yearly; while these plans expose one to more out of pocket costs, they can be significantly less expensive

● Part D – Drug Coverage: offers prescription drug coverage insurance. Plans vary, but all medically necessary drugs are covered. If you don’t elect Part D coverage initially you may end up paying a penalty if you change your mind.

While lots of choices are generally a good thing for your bottom line, this year’s Medicare tweaks make finding the right plan for your personal situation far from a one-size-fits-all proposition. There are plenty of plans for all needs and budgets, beginning with zero dollar out-of-pocket plans for Hamilton county residents. Seek out an experienced independent insurance agent to help you determine your best options.

Frank Gordon is an independent insurance agent at Gordon Marketing. He may be contacted at 776-6770.


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