Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15 through December 7. During this time, many individuals ask themselves what this really means. How much are my prescriptions going to be? If I go to the hospital, will it be covered? Am I going to have to pay anything when I see my doctor? The answers to these questions vary based on each of the Plans you choose for each Part of Medicare. And, more importantly, most of these questions can be answered even if it is outside of the annual open enrollment period.

At Peak Benefits Group, we have two simple goals with our Medicare clients. First, help you to understand your choices. And second, guide you down the path that is right for you, based on your individual situation.

Medicare is broken down into 4 basic parts. Part A, Part B, Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage), and Part D. Original Medicare includes Parts A and B which cover Hospital (Part A) and Medical (Part B) costs. Together, Parts A and B will cover 80% of medical costs and a specified portion for hospital costs for an individual. The remaining costs can be covered by a supplemental plan, also known as a Medigap policy. Medigap policies are purchased separately and are designed to fill in the gaps that Original Medicare part A and part B do not cover. Supplemental Plans have differences in coverage levels and costs so it is important to carefully choose the right coverage level for you.

The final piece to Original Medicare is Part D, Prescription Drug Plans. Prescription Drug Plans cover some, or all, of the costs of your medications. These should be reviewed every year to ensure you are in the most cost-effective plan based on the medications you regularly take. Keep in mind that Prescription Drug Plans can change year to year. Always review your plan during open enrollment between 10/15-12/7. If you live in the State of Maryland, and have a low to moderate income, you may be eligible for financial assistance to help cover some of the costs of your prescription plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) are an alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans are required to offer the basic coverage of Original Medicare but are provided through a private health insurance company. Most of these plans function similar to major medical plans by having deductibles and/or copays and coverage limits. These are managed care organizations and include provider and location restrictions.

Ultimately, there are many working parts to Medicare. It can be confusing and even overwhelming to determine which Plan is best for you. This is why it important to seek the help of a licensed profession you can trust. At Peak Benefits Group, we are here to help you understand your choices & guide you down the path that is right for you. Our advisors take the time to talk to you about your current situation and will advise you based on those needs.

Located in Thurmont, our team consists of five licensed advisors and three office administrators to better serve your medicare needs.

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