A few months ago, I made mention of TV ads ostensibly about Medicare plans. You’ve probably seen them. Some celebrity talking about how his Medicare plan covers everything from A to Z, and with no added cost to the premium.

I’ve heard them talk about Medicare paying for transportation, in-home care, dental, vision and someone to mow the lawn. (OK, the lawn piece wasn’t actually promised.)

While at a community meeting today, the topic came up again. A couple points to remember:

• These ads are referring to a Medicare Advantage Plan, which is a plan that covers Medicare benefits plus add-ons. The additional provisions, naturally enough, bring additional costs to the premium.

• Advantage Plans are not available in Pacific County.

And now a note about supplemental/medi-gap plans. These are various Medicare-approved insurance plans designed to pay what Medicare does not. Medicare covers about 80% of your medical. Supplemental plans can cover some or all of the remaining 20%. Now, a couple points to remember regarding these:

• Supplemental plans do not require waiting for an open enrollment period. They can be changed throughout the year.

• Although the plans are required to, all cover the same areas; premiums and co-pays can differ widely. There are different schedule plans so it pays to explore options.

Lastly, we’re not talking about Medicare prescription coverage in any of these. Medicare Part D requires another insurance choice, and there are options there, also.

Medicare.gov is a great place to explore options regarding all of this. And unlike climbing through the branches of an ever-growing phone tree, you can go at your own pace. The site is very user-friendly and informative.

Or, you can call any of the numbers at the end of this column and talk to real, live people about Medicare and its mysteries.

Information & Assistance

Long Beach: 360-642-3634

or 888-571-6558

Raymond: 360-942-2177

or 888-571-6557

www.o3a.org

Recommended for you

(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.