Health care coverage is an essential part of your financial plan. The risks associated with being uninsured could be catastrophic to a financial future. Medicare is just one health care option for a certain group of individuals.
Medicare is available for individuals who are age 65 or older and are eligible in the following ways:
- You are a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident; and
- You or your spouse have worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security (usually having earned 40 credits from about 10 years of work).
- You or your spouse is a government employee or retiree who has not paid into Social Security but has paid Medicare payroll taxes while working.
The Medicare open enrollment period begins on October 15, 2014. This period will allow participants to adjust which options work best for their health and financial needs. The period runs through December 7, 2014 and goes into effect on January 1, 2015.
There are multiple changes you can make to your plan, but a main difference in 2015 is the Part D plan adjustments.
Most Part D plans have a limit on what they will cover for prescription drugs. As part of the Affordable Care Act, the costs of prescription drugs will be gradually reduced. In 2015, the individual will be responsible for 45% of the cost of brand name drugs between $2,960 and $4,700 spent and 65% of the cost of generic drugs in the same range. Each following year, the cost of prescription drugs will decrease until 2020, when individuals will be responsible for 25% of the covered brand-name and generic drugs.
Lots to think about!
Reviewing your health insurance coverage annually is a good best practice. Taking the next two months to truly access your needs and your current plan can save you a lot of heartache in the end.
To learn more about your Medicare options, you can visit Medicare.gov or call 1-800-Medicare.
What has been your experience with health insurance? Are you satisfied by your Medicare coverage?