Our Commitment To Justice
Black Lives Matter. As time passes since the murder of George Floyd, the Center for Medicare Advocacy mourns for him, and for all the named and unnamed people of color who have been murdered or harmed in countless ways in our country. We mourn for our country. We protest.For more than thirty years, the mission of the Center has been to ensure fair access to Medicare and health care for all. FAIR. FOR ALL. We cant separate ourselves from the greater fight for fairness, for justice for all.
Beware Of Medicare Open Enrollment Scams
The open enrollment period for changing Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription plans ends December 7. While Medicare-related fraud is a year-round concern, Medicare recipients should be especially alert for fraudsters during open enrollment, when scammers use the increased public attention about Medicare choices as an opportunity to strike. Take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft or Medicare fraud by guarding your Medicare number and other personal information. Shop and compare plans to ensure you are getting the plan that best meets your needs, and dont fall for high-pressure sales pitches.
Improve Medicare For All Beneficiaries
Medicare is extremely popular, but it needs attention to ensure all beneficiaries receive comprehensive coverage and equitable treatment. The Medicare program that Americans know and cherish has been allowed to wither. Traditional Medicare, preferred by most beneficiaries, has not been improved in years, yet private Medicare Advantage plans have been repeatedly bolstered. Its time to build a better Medicare for all those who rely on it now, and will in the future.
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What Documents Do I Need To Apply For Social Security
Documents the Social Security Administration may ask for include:
Medicaid Or Medicare Savings Programs
Medicare beneficiaries with limited income or very high medical costs may be eligible to receive assistance from the Medicaid program. There are also Medicare Savings Programs for other limited-income beneficiaries that may help pay for Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. There are specified income and resources limits for both programs. Contact your local county Department of Social Services or SHIIP to apply for one of these programs.
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Employer Or Military Retiree Coverage
If you or your spouse has an Employer Group Health Plan as retiree health coverage from an employer or the military , you may not need additional insurance. Review the EGHPs costs and benefits and contact your employer benefits representative or SHIIP to learn how your coverage works with Medicare.
Medicare Open Enrollment Scams To Avoid
Con artists and scammers are constantly inventing new ways to take advantage of people. Unfortunately, older adults tend to be more trusting of strangers and less aware of the newest ploys these dishonest people use, making them a common target. The annual Medicare Open Enrollment period offers the perfect opportunity for duping unsuspecting elders into sharing their sensitive personal and financial information.
Below are some common tactics that scammers use on Medicare beneficiaries around the open enrollment period each year. This information will help you avoid falling victim to identity theft and/or Medicare fraud and allow you to warn others about these schemes.
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Medicare Home Health Coverage: Reality Conflicts With The Law
Under the law, Medicare coverage is available for people with acute and/or chronic conditions, and for services to improve, or maintain, or slow decline of the individuals condition, and such coverage is available even if the services are expected to continue over a long period of time. Unfortunately, however, people who legally qualify for Medicare coverage frequently have great difficulty obtaining and affording necessary home care.
Ways To Apply For Disability Benefits:
- If you or your spouse worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772.
Once your disability benefits start, well mail you a welcome package with your Medicare card.
Sign up for Part B if you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.You get Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it. If you dont sign up for Part B within 3 months after your Part A starts, you might have to wait to sign up for Part B and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty.
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Notice To Class Of A Proposed Clarification In Observation Status Appeal Case
The parties in Alexander v. Becerra, 3:11-cv-1703 , regarding appeal procedures for certain Medicare beneficiaries who receive observation services, have jointly proposed a clarification of the judgment. The parties proposed this clarification in the interest of facilitating and streamlining the retrospective appeals process ordered by the Court, and reducing administrative burden.
Read about the clarification here.
Improvements To Medicare’s Preventative Care Coverage
Medicare beneficiaries pay nothing for most preventive services if the services are received from a doctor or other health care provider who participates with Medicare . For some preventive services, the Medicare beneficiary pays nothing for the service, but may have to pay coinsurance for the office visit to receive these services.
Medicare covers two types of physical exams one when you’re new to Medicare and one each year after that. The Welcome to Medicare physical exam is a one-time review of your health, education and counseling about preventive services, and referrals for other care if needed. Medicare will cover this exam if you get it within the first 12 months of enrolling in Part B. You will pay nothing for the exam if the doctor accepts assignment. When you make your appointment, let your doctor’s office know that you would like to schedule your Welcome to Medicare physical exam. Keep in mind, you don’t need to get the Welcome to Medicare physical exam before getting a yearly Wellness exam. If you have had Medicare Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get a yearly wellness visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors. Again, you will pay nothing for this exam if the doctor accepts assignment. This exam is covered once every 12 months.
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National Medicare Advocates Alliance
The Center for Medicare Advocacy’s National Medicare Advocates Alliance provides Medicare advocates with a collaborative network to share resources, best practices, and developments of import to Medicare beneficiaries throughout the country. The Alliance is supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation.
Things You Should Know
How to find out whether or not you are eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B benefits if you are retired and under age 65 and your spouse or you are disabled
If you or your spouse is disabled and receiving Social Security disability benefits, contact Social Security about Medicare-eligibility. If eligible, contact the GIC at 617.727.2310 to request a Medicare Plan enrollment form.
If you have been a state employee and have never contributed to Social Security
You may still be eligible for Medicare benefits through your spouse. When you turn age 65, visit Social Securitys website or call Social Security to apply to see if you are eligible.
What happens to your spouse’s coverage if you enroll in a GIC Medicare Supplemental Plan
Your spouse will continue to be covered under in a GIC non-Medicare plan if he/she is under age 65 until he or she becomes eligible for Medicare. See the Benefit Decision Guide for under and over age 65 health insurance products. If your spouse is over age 65, he/she must enroll in the same Medicare supplemental plan that you have joined.
What you need to do at age 65 if your spouse or yourself was not eligible for Medicare Part A for free, but now, you and your spouse have subsequently become eligible for Medicare Part A for free
You or your spouse must notify the GIC in writing when you become eligible for Medicare Part A. The GIC will notify you of your coverage options. Failure to do this may result in loss of GIC coverage.
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Bbb Scam Alert: Beware Of Health Care Cons During Open Enrollment
If you are adding or changing your Medicare or Healthcare.gov coverage during open enrollment, watch out for unsolicited calls claiming to “help” you find the best deal. Unfortunately, scammers see this open enrollment period as a chance to trick people out of money and personal information. Open enrollment runs through December 7 or December 15 .
Avoid Marketing Scams During 2022 Medicare Open Enrollment
During Medicares Open Enrollment Period , which begins on October 15 and ends December 7, Medicare beneficiaries can choose the plans that are best for them for 2022. You can get help comparing Medicare plans from your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program , available in each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia. Private insurance companies administer, market, and sell Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans , so its important to understand your rights and some of the limits on marketing. That way youll be prepared if an insurance broker or agent tries to enroll you in a Medicare plan that isnt right for you.
Know your rights
If you request an appointment with an agent to visit or call to talk about your Medicare coverage options, remember you have certain rights and agents must follow the law:
- Agents must give you information only about items listed in the scope of appointment form you filled out when you asked for an appointment. They cant talk about other Medicare or insurance products that you didnt ask to talk about.
- Agents cant set their own time limits for you to sign up for a plan. Everyone has until December 7 to enroll, and there arent any extra benefits for signing up early.
- They cant threaten to take away your benefits if you dont sign up for a plan or offer you gifts if you agree to sign up.
- Agents cannot suggest that Medicare endorses or prefers their plan.
Report a marketing violation
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Can I Apply For Medicare Benefits At This Brockton Office
If you decide to enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up for Parts A and/or B by: Visiting your local Social Security office. Calling Social Security at 800-772-1213. Before you decide how you want to go about applying for Medicare, you need to understand the different parts of the program and which ones you need. Learn More About Applying for Medicare.
The Medicare Advantage Scam And Beyond
Kay Tillow writes for Daily Kos about the Medicare Advantage scam and beyond. She explains that these for-profit health plans that deliver Medicare benefits are using stars like Joe Namath to mislead people into signing up for coverage that very well might not meet their needs if they get sick or need a lot of costly care. Medicare Advantage plans, in fact, could keep them from accessing critical care.
What Namath does not tell you is that if you choose the wrong Medicare Advantage plan, you might face inappropriate denials of care, along with other administrative and financial barriers to care. Indeed, new research finds that the wrong choice of Medicare Advantage plan might literally kill you. Thats what Yale economics professor Jason Abaluck found when analyzing data about these corporate health plans. But, the plans wont let you have access to their mortality data, and Congress is not requiring them to give you access.
Instead, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is allowing Medicare Advantage plans to send you to the Medicare Coverage Helpline. And, while you might think that it is a government, independent agency, it is in fact a corporate marketing agency, designed to seduce you into giving up your public health insurance under traditional Medicare and to sign up for a private insurance Medicare Advantage plan.
Heres more from Just Care:
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Why Use Medicare Benefit Review To Find Your Plan
Our Medicare plan finder simplifies each step of the way toward finding a Medicare plan that fits your needs. In using the tool, you can:
Quote & Compare
Review coverage options and compare the available plans in your area.
Discuss with an agent
Licensed insurance professionals are available to answer your questions and find the best plans for you.
Online and in person enrollment available with Medicare plans. Enroll in the way most convenient for you.
How Do I Protect Myself From Social Security Scams
Scammers use phone calls, emails, text messages, and letters to impersonate Social Security personnel and trick people into giving up personal information.
Common tactics include asking for your Social Security number and threatening to cut off Social Security benefits if personal information isnt provided.
Always remember, the Social Security Administration offers free forms and services.
If you suspect that youve been a victim of a Social Security scam or wish to report any attempts, you can call the Office of the Inspector General hotline from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.
You can also submit a fraud report through the OIG website.
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Pros And Cons Of Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans tend to benefit healthier people who use fewer services with lower costs, says Orestis. But regardless of your health care needs, there are pros and cons of Medicare Advantage plans worth considering. Below, our experts break down some of the more common advantages and disadvantages of MA plans.
|Many plans feature $0 monthly premiums. Most of the time, you dont pay anything upfront for services, excluding the Part B premium, which everyone must pay each month, says Ari Parker, co-founder and head advisor at Chapter, an independent Medicare advisor organization. Theres an out-of-pocket limit. Medicare Advantage plans dont impose a lifetime coverage limit, and they do provide a maximum out-of-pocket limit guarantee, which protects enrollees from costs of expensive treatments spiraling out of control, says Orestis.They provide comprehensive coverage. These plans often include ancillary benefits, such as dental, vision and hearing coverage, which are not typically provided by Original Medicare.||Many plans do have network restrictions. One of the limitations of Medicare Advantage plans is that they often impose network restrictions on the providers you can see, says Parker. They are more similar to the HMO or PPO plans you may have had through an employer.|
To Qualify For Medicare You Need To Get Disability Benefits From:
- Social Security
- Railroad Retirement Board
If you or your spouse worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772.
If you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.
How Do I Apply For Social Security Benefits
The easiest and quickest way to apply for retirement, spouses, ex-spouses, or Medicare benefits is to apply online. If you do not wish to use the online application, or the application for the benefit you want is not available online, you can call 717-1524 or visit your local Brockton SSA office. Learn More About Applying for Benefits.
Medicare Faqs And Information To Consider
If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, or Federal Retiree benefits, your enrollment in Medicare is automatic. Your Medicare card should arrive in the mail shortly before your 65th birthday. Check the card when you receive it to verify that you are entitled to both Medicare Parts A and B.
Initial Enrollment Period:
If you are not eligible for Automatic Enrollment, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or enroll online at www.socialsecurity.gov, or visit the nearest Social Security office to enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. You have a seven month window in which to enroll in Medicare without incurring a penalty. If youre not automatically enrolled in premium-free Part A, you can sign up for it once your Initial Enrollment Period starts. Your Part A coverage will start six months back from the date you apply for Medicare, but no earlier than the first month you were eligible for Medicare. However, you can only sign up for Part B during the times listed below.
General Enrollment Period:
- General Enrollment Period for Medicare Parts A & B
If you have coverage through a current employer, you are not required to enroll in Medicare Part A and B. Below are some things to keep in mind about each part of Medicare.