Money Matters

Medicare Mastery: Ins and Outs Explained by Insurance Experts

August 02, 2023 Brought to you by Neighbors Federal Credit Union Episode 36
Medicare Mastery: Ins and Outs Explained by Insurance Experts
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Money Matters
Medicare Mastery: Ins and Outs Explained by Insurance Experts
Aug 02, 2023 Episode 36
Brought to you by Neighbors Federal Credit Union

Have you thought about how to make the most out of your Medicare benefits? We promise you that this episode of Money Matters will equip you with all the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your Medicare plans. We have the pleasure of hosting John Stockwell and Jennifer Lindsay from Stockwell Insurance, as they simplify the often complex world of Medicare. They give us a clear understanding of the eligibility criteria, various parts of the program, as well as the deductibles and copays involved.

The devil is in the details, and when it comes to Medicare enrollment, it's no different. Have you wondered about the implications of not enrolling at 65? Or, have you ever asked what the 10-year or 40-quarter requirement for eligibility means for you? There's no need to worry. We address all these topics and more, including other enrollment periods, waivers for low-income individuals, and valuable information contained within the Medicare handbook.

Lastly, but definitely not least, we want to ensure that you are safeguarded against Medicare fraud. You'll find out why it's crucial to delve into your plan's network of doctors and prescriptions. We also shed light on the warning signs of fraudulent activity. Grab a notepad because we also share resources for further research and discuss the benefits of five-star rated Medicare Advantage plans. Also, discover the benefits of early enrollment and the advantages of attending a free class to better understand how your Medicare benefits work. Get ready for a deep dive into everything Medicare!

Have an idea for a show or a question for Kim? Send us a text message

Support the Show.

Welcome to Money Matters, the podcast that focuses on how to use the money you have, make the money you need and save the money you want – brought to you by Neighbors Federal Credit Union.

The information, opinions, and recommendations presented in this Podcast are for general information only and any reliance on the information provided in this Podcast is done at your own risk. This Podcast should not be considered professional advice.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you thought about how to make the most out of your Medicare benefits? We promise you that this episode of Money Matters will equip you with all the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your Medicare plans. We have the pleasure of hosting John Stockwell and Jennifer Lindsay from Stockwell Insurance, as they simplify the often complex world of Medicare. They give us a clear understanding of the eligibility criteria, various parts of the program, as well as the deductibles and copays involved.

The devil is in the details, and when it comes to Medicare enrollment, it's no different. Have you wondered about the implications of not enrolling at 65? Or, have you ever asked what the 10-year or 40-quarter requirement for eligibility means for you? There's no need to worry. We address all these topics and more, including other enrollment periods, waivers for low-income individuals, and valuable information contained within the Medicare handbook.

Lastly, but definitely not least, we want to ensure that you are safeguarded against Medicare fraud. You'll find out why it's crucial to delve into your plan's network of doctors and prescriptions. We also shed light on the warning signs of fraudulent activity. Grab a notepad because we also share resources for further research and discuss the benefits of five-star rated Medicare Advantage plans. Also, discover the benefits of early enrollment and the advantages of attending a free class to better understand how your Medicare benefits work. Get ready for a deep dive into everything Medicare!

Have an idea for a show or a question for Kim? Send us a text message

Support the Show.

Welcome to Money Matters, the podcast that focuses on how to use the money you have, make the money you need and save the money you want – brought to you by Neighbors Federal Credit Union.

The information, opinions, and recommendations presented in this Podcast are for general information only and any reliance on the information provided in this Podcast is done at your own risk. This Podcast should not be considered professional advice.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Money Matters, the podcast that focuses on how to use the money you have, make the money you need and save the money you want.

Speaker 1:

Now here is your host, Ms Kim Chapman. Welcome to another edition of Money Matters. I am your host, Kim Chapman. Are you, or someone you know, new to Medicare and want to better understand the basics? Well, today, hopefully, we will make Medicare seem a little bit easier. My guests today are John Stockwell and Jennifer Lindsey, with Stockwell Insurance. They're here to explain the ins and outs just really the basics so that you or your loved one can be a little bit more comfortable as you transition into this new experience. So welcome, John and Jennifer. Thank you for having us.

Speaker 2:

Yes, thank you, Kim.

Speaker 1:

All right. So, John, give us a little bit about your history. You have Stockwell Insurance. What do you do?

Speaker 3:

I'm a resident of Batrush, Louisiana. I've been licensed in insurance business since 2005. I dove into Medicare 2011. So this is my 12th year. We help about 2,000 clients locally. We have a local office on Perkins near Blue Bonnet, very easy to get to. We also do home visits and office visits as well.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and Jennifer, what is your?

Speaker 2:

role, my role. I am an administrative assistant for John, as well as licensed agent. Also, I am licensed to help sell Medicare life insurance. We also do group insurance as well.

Speaker 1:

Well, I tell you I definitely want to learn today. I mean, I still have a little time left, just had a birthday and it's amazing because you know, one minute it seems like retirement and Medicare is a lifetime away and the next thing you know, it's like, okay, it's time, Maybe I sit up and pay attention. So let's just kind of cover the basics. What is Medicare?

Speaker 2:

So Medicare, it is the national insurance program. It provides health coverage for senior citizens who and it was originally started just for seniors who may be like lacking that proper health insurance coverage. It's administered through the Social Security Administration and regulated through CMS, which is the center of Medicare and Medicaid services.

Speaker 1:

So who is eligible for Medicare? Who out there should be listening and really paying attention to what we're discussing today.

Speaker 2:

Anyone 65 and older is eligible, as well as some individuals with certain disabilities also may qualify. You do have to live in the US continuously for five years and be a US citizen, and if you are disabled, you could qualify if you have a 24-month qualification disabled period.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and how would one even find out if they're not 65, what would be the process of them even trying to find out if they qualify for a disability?

Speaker 3:

So for somebody that is disabled it has to be a government mandated disability. Typically you have to have an attorney involved. That's a pretty tedious process. Once you get approved, you can start drawing a Social Security benefit and for 24 months is your time period, from the time you are deemed disabled by the government to the time you can start your Medicare.

Speaker 1:

And you hit that magical age 65, but I've seen the books and that's what really makes me concerned. It's like it looks like an encyclopedia when it comes to Medicare. So really, how early should somebody start really planning and learning about Medicare, the ins and outs, because I feel like if I don't understand it at 55, how much more am I going to understand it when it's time at 65?

Speaker 2:

It's definitely never too early to start planning and getting some general information when it comes to Medicare. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be as far as when you do start to get to that 65th birthday, you do have an actual open enrollment period. That is a seven-month window. You have three months before you turn 65, your birth month and three months following your birth month as well as your birth month. So the better prepared you are, the more proactive you can be as far as trying to decide your Medicare options.

Speaker 1:

So if I have private insurance, do I need Medicare?

Speaker 3:

So if you're on a group plan that is credible coverage you do not have to take Medicare. Yet Now most people that have paid into the system qualify for Medicare Part A automatically, with no premium. So you can go ahead and apply for Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient hospital care, and you'll just be double covered. You'll have your group policy and if you go in the hospital you also have Medicare Part A to help pick up those costs.

Speaker 1:

Okay, Now part A, and I've heard part B, C, D, all the way to Z. Can you maybe break down a little bit those different parts?

Speaker 2:

Yes. So part A, that's going to be typically covering some of your hospitalization cost, and then you do have part B, which would be covering more of your medical cost or doctor visits, treatment plans, diagnostic testing, and then you do also have part D, which is your prescription drugs, and part C, which would be a Medicare Advantage plan and that's kind of an all in one plan where you can also decide whether you want dental vision, hearing, just different benefits like that. To roll it all into one plan for you.

Speaker 1:

And so of course we know the word cover is pretty broad, so maybe can you give us a better explanation. Would there be deductibles, or is you know? How would I know you know? Can I rest assured that? Hey, if I have part A and I go in the hospital, what would I have to come out of pocket? Or would I have to come out of pocket anything, or is it going to vary from individual to individual?

Speaker 3:

So for Medicare part A, if you have just original Medicare and you do not have a Medicare supplement plan or Medicare Advantage plan, you do have a deductible that covers the first 60 days After today 60, you have a per day copay at the hospital. For part B, you have a small deductible and once you hit your deductible you pay 20% of the rest of your charges. There is no maximum amount of pocket on original Medicare. That's what's always beneficial to look at some options like a Medicare supplement plan or Medicare Advantage plan. So there is a stop loss there. Once you hit a certain max out of pocket you don't have any more out of pocket cost for your Medicare.

Speaker 1:

And does that vary from person to person or what is that amount?

Speaker 3:

So it does depend on the plan, not technically person to person, unless you do have Medicaid. If you have full Medicaid benefits and Medicare, we can get you a plan with zero dollar co-payments, no max out of pocket. There's a lot of more fringe benefits when you do have a low income.

Speaker 1:

And what about the cost for Medicare?

Speaker 3:

So Medicare Part A if you put in your 40 quarters, there is no premium there. And Medicare Part B this year is $164.90, is the base premium. That can be reduced based on your income and it can also be increased based on your income. So I'll just do a little tidbit here. If you're a single person and your income was above $97,000 two years prior to getting on Medicare, you're going to have to pay extra money. If it was above $194,000 as a married couple, there's going to be income related adjustment there as well and it can be pretty substantial. It's a stair step and it can get above $600 per month extra that you would be paying for your Medicare Part A, B and D, depending on your income.

Speaker 1:

And I imagine of course those numbers that cost is going to change over the year. So while maybe $164.00 today, next year it could be a lot higher, because things never get cheaper, right.

Speaker 2:

Right. Yes, cms does actually kind of recalculate that premium based on inflation, so it can go up each year.

Speaker 1:

So is there anything as a working individual now that I can do to offset the cost of Medicare? You know, 10, 20 years down the line.

Speaker 3:

So, as a working individual, being that they're looking back two years at your income, that's something to think about, trying to stay under that bracket. Another thing is we do have a form that you can fill out once you retire, stating that you do not work anymore and you're retired and that your income is lower now, and that can also reduce the cost out of pocket for your Medicare premiums.

Speaker 1:

And what about for individuals? You know, there are those that hey say I don't want to retire, I'm going to work forever and they have coverage. What happens, or what does their scenario look like in terms of having to get Medicare?

Speaker 3:

Okay, so a working individual? As long as they have credible group coverage, they will not have to enroll in Medicare and they will not have any penalties.

Speaker 1:

So they don't have to do it no, ma'am. But if they do, is it where that premium? I think maybe earlier we kind of talked about this a little bit that that Medicare of the part A would be at a zero premium for them.

Speaker 3:

Correct, it would just be like a double, double coverage. Right. I would always recommend enroll it in Medicare Port A because you're not going to have to pay anything extra to have the extra insurance with Medicare Now Port B. If you enroll in Port B and your income's high, they can charge extra money. So as long as you have credible group coverage, I would recommend enroll it in Port A and delaying Port B.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so we got the A's and the B's, so let's kind of break down the C's and the D's.

Speaker 2:

So D would be your prescription drug plan. You do. If you're staying with original Medicare, which is just your part A and part B, you do have to enroll into a separate prescription drug plan, which would be your part D. Or you can go with a part C option, which would be a Medicare Advantage, where you would have your part A, part B and part D all covered into one plan.

Speaker 1:

And so tell us a little bit about how beneficial the prescription is. Just yesterday I was listening to the news and they were talking about a new drug coming out for patients suffering from Alzheimer's. Of course, the catch 22 is that to have this medicine, they were saying, it would cost you $26,000 a year. I not even want to remember that I'd have to pay that much. So how can the Medicare part help with costs that are that high?

Speaker 3:

So on Medicare prescription drug plans you do get an allowance for your drugs and it's the total cost of each medicine that you fill. It's not your cost out of your pocket but the actual drug cost. So medicine it's $26,000. That would eat up your initial coverage limit which is $4,660. Once you exhaust the initial coverage limit you go into an area called the coverage gap where you pay 25% until your out-of-pocket cost in the manufacturer discounts equals $7,400 and then you pay 5%. So that's also pretty unaffordable for a drug that's $26,000. The manufacturers of most name brand drugs do offer what we call a patient assistance program and we do help apply for that for our clients. A lot of times we can get the drugs sent out to you from the manufacturer to $0 cost.

Speaker 1:

So, of course, when I see commercials on TV, you know there are so many different insurance companies that offer Medicare services. What is the difference? What are the different options? Why would I choose your company over another company, or this group plan over another group plan?

Speaker 3:

So the reason we have and do what we do here locally is we do house calls. We'll meet you at your house, at your work. You can come by the office. We have a local presence here and we take the ball from applying for Medicare, applying for Social Security benefits, all the way to customer service after you enroll into a plan. We educate you and we help you make your own decisions.

Speaker 1:

Okay, at age 65, you mentioned, I could do it as early as three months before or three months after. What does the process look like in terms of enrolling for Medicare?

Speaker 2:

So you would need to. Well, if you are already drawing your Social Security benefits, you should automatically be enrolled into your party in Part B whenever you do turn 65. If you're delaying your Social Security benefits and you would need to proactively enroll, which can be done through the Social Security website, through calling Social Security or in person, you can also visit a local agent who would help you enroll into that process.

Speaker 1:

And is it a lengthy process? Is it just a simple form that I fill out? What? Can you walk us through some of the steps.

Speaker 2:

It's just a form you fill out and you do turn into Social Security. It does take a couple weeks to process, so that's kind of why you want to be a little proactive and not wait until your actual 65th birthday. Do it as soon as you can so that way it has plenty time to process their Social Security.

Speaker 3:

And the easiest way is to go online to ssagov, that's the Social Security Administration, and if you scroll down just a little bit, you'll see apply for benefits and you can apply for Medicare.

Speaker 1:

And of course we've got to think about too at 65. Most of our 65s are not very tech-savvy, so are there options to actually do a paper application, or is that when that benefit would be to have you come out to the house and help us complete those papers?

Speaker 3:

We do it all for you. You call us, we come to the house. I actually did one this morning. Took me about 15 minutes. We did our Social Security benefits and her Medicare application and she'll be processed in approximately two weeks.

Speaker 1:

Are there any scenarios, at least when you reach the age 65, that someone could be denied from Medicare?

Speaker 3:

If they have not worked enough quarters, they can be denied from Medicare.

Speaker 1:

And can you elaborate on, maybe, how many quarters that would be?

Speaker 3:

Yes, it's 10 years. It's 40 quarters to qualify for Medicare. You can also draw off of a spouse that's put in enough quarters as well.

Speaker 1:

And if I don't meet either one of those qualifications, do I have any other options?

Speaker 3:

You can still enroll in Medicare, but you're going to have some very large premiums for part A and part B.

Speaker 1:

So we talked about enrollment and so you said three months before, three months after. So it's not based on January to February or January to March, it's just three months before I make 65 and up to three months after I make turn 65. Is that correct?

Speaker 2:

Right, it's not based on a calendar year. It is based off of your birth month, so the month you turn 65.

Speaker 1:

I'm missing my head, because it seems like I always see commercials that say, hey, you're running out of time, you're running out of time. So I thought that maybe it was just a time span, like you know, january to March or something like that, but it's based specifically on your birthday.

Speaker 2:

It is based on your birthday. Now there are other enrollment periods. If you decide that you are going to continue to work and you are covered by an employer group plan once you leave that employer group plan, then you do have other enrollment options you have when leaving your employer group plan. You actually have an eight month period to enroll into a Medicare program once you leave that plan.

Speaker 1:

And what happens if I don't enroll.

Speaker 2:

If you don't enroll you will be faced with some penalties. For part B, you can be faced with a 10% penalty In part D, your prescription drug, if you don't enroll into that. It's also a penalty that gets calculated every month.

Speaker 1:

So are there any exceptions to that rule? Because, again, I imagine at age 65, that's when we start to forget a couple of things here and there. So are there any waivers? If you can, just you know, have a good explanation for not filling it out.

Speaker 3:

So for to, I guess, wave a penalty, you would have to have low income. That's pretty much the only way to get those penalties waived. If you just don't have credible group coverage, you're just enrolling two years later, haven't had any insurance, you'll have penalties there. You'll have the 10% penalty per year for Medicare part B, and that you pay that the rest of your life, and then for part D, your drug, it's 1% per month that you do not have the drug coverage and that is also paid the rest of your life. So to get a penalty waived it would be low income. It's the only way we can really get that done.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so we've covered the things like the majors the part A hospitalization. Part B your doctor visits. Part D prescriptions. So C, fill in a gap for me.

Speaker 2:

So your part C. Well, you do have an option. If you want to stick with original Medicare, which would be your part A and your part B, and then adding a prescription drug, you can also do what's called a supplement plan, or metagap some call it, and that is just adding a little bit additional coverage to kind of fill in those gaps that may not be covered through your part A or part B. But you also have an option of doing a Medicare Advantage plan, and that's going to just be one plan geared towards whatever fits your needs. You can also add dental vision, hearing, and just have one particular plan that covers all of those benefits all in one.

Speaker 1:

So I wouldn't have an A, B, C or D, it would be one plan, just be called the plan, and then it would cover all of my needs. Right it would be your plan. Okay, well, that sounds a little bit better, because it sounds really really complicated when you hear A, b, c, b, all these different parts. How often do the rules for Medicare change?

Speaker 2:

They typically change. If any changes are made, it's done annually and it usually starts at the beginning of that next calendar year.

Speaker 1:

And what happens if you're on a plan and it becomes too much of a financial burden? What are your options then?

Speaker 2:

You can always reevaluate different plans. There's different enrollment periods. Every year you have an annual enrollment period where you can make changes to the specific plan. You might be on Different things change in life as far as your income status, different medical needs, so that's something that can always be reevaluated and changed at particular times in the year.

Speaker 1:

Well, you've definitely made it sound easy, so I'm still just picturing this big encyclopedia. What pieces are we missing?

Speaker 3:

So if you read through that entire Medicare handbook it's a few hundred pages, probably 150 pages long. It's just really elaborating what we're simplifying. So you read through there and it's more wordy. We try to keep it simple and easy and we try to do the hard work for you and we try to condense it to make it make sense. Okay.

Speaker 1:

So I have a couple of myths because, again, you know I walked into this session with a lot of myths about Medicare that you've already cleared up, but there are a couple more. So it says Medicare plans are only available through the federal government.

Speaker 3:

So Medicare is offered through the federal government. The extra insurance policies, such as drug plans, which is your part D, medicare supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans, which is your part C, those are offered through private insurance companies, but they are regulated by the federal government. Okay, all right.

Speaker 1:

It says Medicare covers all of your expenses. All is such a subjective word right.

Speaker 3:

So Medicare does cover all of your medically necessary expenses. They do not cover cosmetic. They do not cover hearing, dental or vision. Those are extra benefits that you can pick up with a Medicare Advantage plan or, if you do go with a Medicare supplement plan and a standalone drug plan, you can pick up a individual vision, dental or hearing plan.

Speaker 1:

So I have a question Do the supplement so that vantage plans and because they're offered by different insurance companies, will that what's offered vary from company to company? Or would it just be the cost that varies from company to company?

Speaker 3:

So it's not only the cost. Each plan has their own co-payments, their own benefits, their own allowances, so you do have to shop around and make sure, first of all, that your doctors and your prescriptions are covered. Each plan has their own network of doctors, so it's very important. These are the first two things we ask when we're evaluating a client is what are your doctors, what medicines are you taking currently? And we go from there and it kind of weeds out some of the plans right off the bat.

Speaker 1:

Okay, here's another myth If your spouse is enrolled in Medicare, you are automatically enrolled too.

Speaker 3:

No, medicare is an individual plan by the government, so each person has their own Medicare plan. So if your husband is making 65 and you're 58, you do not qualify for Medicare yet you have to qualify either through age or disability.

Speaker 1:

Now it says Medicare will notify me when it's time to enroll.

Speaker 3:

Medicare does send out some paperwork. Most of it gets thrown away, and that's because you're going to get paperwork from 200 different entities wanting your business. They make the marketing very similar to what Medicare official mail looks like. So you got to really keep your eye out and make sure it's from ssagov, which is Social Security, or CMSgov or Medicaregov. If it doesn't say those three things, or one of those three things on the front of the envelope, you need to disregard it, unless you are looking for somebody to help you.

Speaker 1:

So are you able to maybe even explain what type of Medicare fraud is out there? As you mentioned, you want to make sure you're looking for something that's specifically Medicaregov. What type of fraud should I listen to especially our seniors be looking for or be aware of so that they're not scammed? What type of scams exist?

Speaker 3:

So there is an endless list of fraudulent activity that goes on. First and foremost is the phone calls. You're going to get somebody calling you saying they have a better plan for you. They're not going to look up your doctors or your meds and they're just going to enroll you in next month or whatever month they enroll you for. If your doctors aren't on there and you go see them, you're going to get bills and you will be responsible.

Speaker 3:

So make sure you do not do business on the phone and if you do, make sure they're checking everything and doting eyes and crossing the T's. The second one they have phishing emails and ads on Facebook, so you need to be very careful. If you click it's called clickbait you click on there, they'll collect your information. Sometimes they'll enroll you without your permission. And the third is through the mail. That's another big one. They're going to send mailers out and if you fill out one of the response cards, they can get you that way as well. It's always best to have somebody local that you know and trust, that has a building in town that you can go to, and you just have a local contact.

Speaker 1:

So if I do find that I was scammed and we'll talk, we'll go with the first one that you mentioned that maybe I enrolled in it and then I found out later that my doctors weren't covered. How difficult or how easy is it to undo that and maybe get into a more legitimate plan that is customized to the doctors that I want to see and the medication that I'm on?

Speaker 3:

It's a pretty tedious process. First of all, if you do get scammed in that regard, the first thing you want to do is call Medicare and file a complaint that's the first thing and tell them that you were misled. We can also help with that process. We can also help you get into the correct plan.

Speaker 3:

Here in Louisiana we do typically have what we call a special election period for disaster, either rain related, hurricane related, wind related, and so throughout the year we do have certain time periods where we can change your plan, and this year it's been pretty much the whole year and last year as well. So if you give us a call we can look it up and see if we can put you back on the correct plan. Also, with the advantage plans, if somebody enrolls into an advantage plan that does not cover their doctors and their medications, like they were told over the phone or through the mail or through an email, we can go ahead and get that taken care of for you for the next month with a five star rated Medicare Advantage plan. So there are a couple options in town where Medicare has rated the plan a five star and that gives them a 12 month ongoing election period. So you can enroll in those plans anytime during the year. There's no set enrollment period there.

Speaker 1:

What would you say are the best resources for somebody that's listening but they still want to learn more? What are some good, legitimate resources that are available for people to learn more about their options for Medicare?

Speaker 3:

So, for Medicare, if you want to go online and do research, you have Medicaregov, and you also have Social Security, which is the ssagov. We're always available to answer questions. We're very knowledgeable. We have quite a few agents here in town that are ready to assist.

Speaker 1:

Do you recommend any type of webinars, or do you even offer, you know, for example, a workshop where seniors could go and learn more?

Speaker 3:

So every Wednesday at our local office on Perkins Road we do a seminar at 10 o'clock in the morning, and that's every Wednesday and it's ongoing.

Speaker 1:

Okay, good information, All right. A couple more myths I want to go over before we wrap up. This one says I can't sign up for Medicare because I have poor health, which I imagine. When you become a senior, you have something pre-existing by that time.

Speaker 3:

So with a pre-existing condition, when you're getting on Medicare, there are no health questions asked. With a Advantage Plan going forward, there are no health questions asked. With a supplement plan a Medicare supplement if you don't enroll during your initial election period, you have a six month window with no health questions. After that, a Medicare supplement plan can underwrite you and ask health questions.

Speaker 1:

Or Medicare. This is another one. Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Supplement Plans are the same thing.

Speaker 2:

No, they're not the same thing. Like we said, medicare Advantage is going to kind of cover all of your Part A, part B and Part D costs into one particular plan. A supplement plan just kind of fills in those gaps. That's separate from your Part A, part B and Part D. It's a separate plan that just kind of helps fill in some gaps that may not have been covered.

Speaker 3:

Just to piggyback on, jennifer a supplement plan is a secondary insurance, so you would have Medicare as your primary and a supplement plan is a small deductible and then covers everything at 100% that is covered under original Medicare. An Advantage Plan is a Medicare replacement plan, so Medicare would pay the Advantage Plan and whatever private insurance company you choose for your Advantage Plan would administer your doctors and your hospitals and your drugs. They're your go-to. Now You're not going to be dealing with Medicare at that point. You'd be dealing with your private insurance company.

Speaker 1:

So I'm a planner by nature, always looking ahead, planning. Is there a point where somebody can come in, let's say well before 65, let's just say at age 60, just to sit down and look and say, okay, if I were turning 65 tomorrow, what would it look like for me, so that they can kind of plan for the future in terms of what their Medicare costs would look like if they want to start preparing for supplement insurance? Or is an advantage plan going to be right for them? Is that something that you would even recommend, or is that even an option?

Speaker 3:

We do that often. We sit down with folks that are not Medicare eligible and just kind of do a what-of scenario and that way whenever they get eligible, they kind of already know what plan's going to work best for them.

Speaker 1:

And is there a particular age that you even recommend that? I mean, would it, is it only worth it if you're really really close to 65, or would somebody 60 or 55 even benefit, just to give them a real good general idea of what's to come?

Speaker 3:

I think 55 is a little bit early, but 60 to 63 is a good time to really start thinking and gathering information.

Speaker 1:

Okay, well, I want to thank you guys for joining me. Please let our listeners know if they want to learn more information or maybe be able to attend one of those Wednesday sessions. How can they reach?

Speaker 2:

you. Yes, so our office is located on Perkins Road and a phone number that can be reached is 225-400-4300.

Speaker 1:

And is there a website?

Speaker 2:

We do have a website. It's wwwstockwellinccom.

Speaker 3:

And our physical address is 10859 Perkins Road, Sweet Sea, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70810. All right.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you, john. Thank you, jennifer. I think I feel a little bit better, but thank God I've got a little bit more time, so you won't see me for a while. Yes, very good, all right, thank you.

Speaker 3:

You're very welcome, thank you.

Speaker 1:

As you just heard, there is an unlimited set of resources available for you to learn about Medicare, but here are some key tips that you want to take away. Start planning early. Remember you can enroll up to three months before your 65th birthday. If you're still confused, consider attending one of those free online or in-person classes to learn more about the ABCs and D of Medicare. You can always talk to your Benefits Administrator, but be sure to compare your coverages. And finally, check out neighborsfcuorg For slash financial education to learn more on how to use the money you have, make the money you need and save the money you want.

Understanding Medicare Basics
Understanding Medicare and Enrollment Options
Understanding Medicare Plans and Avoiding Fraud
Medicare Tips and Resources