Medicare 101

Posted by Guest Blogger: Kristen Smith on Mar 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM
Guest Blogger: Kristen Smith
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Many of my clients have questions about Medicare. How much will it cost? When should I enroll? What are my options? The process for enrolling in Medicare is surprisingly easy, but there are several options you'll need to consider.

To shed some light on the topic, I've put together Medicare 101: A guide to enrolling in the Medicare plan that is right for youBelow, I've outlined five common Medicare options:

  • Medicare Part A.  
    Also called hospital insurance, Medicare Part A covers care in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, and hospice. It provides limited coverage for nursing home and home health services.
  • Medicare Part B.
    Medicare Part B, which is optional, covers doctor visits, lab tests, outpatient surgeries, preventative care, and medically necessary services and equipment. Together, Medicare  Part A and Part B are often referred to as "traditional" or "original" Medicare.
  • Medicare Part C.
    Commonly known as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part C is offered by private insurance companies and health providers such as Blue Cross. Medicare Advantage plans must cover the same services provided by traditional Medicare, and may cover other services such as prescription drugs and dental, hearing, and vision care.
  • Medicare Part D.
    Medicare Part D is a standalone plan that covers prescription drug costs. This coverage option is offered by private insurance and health care providers.
  • Medigap.
    Medigap, also called Medicare Supplement Insurance, is another type of optimal coverage offered by private insurance companies. It is designed to pay some or all of your Medicare Part A and B coinsurance and deductibles. Premiums vary between carriers, so it pays to shop around. You cannot buy a Medigap plan if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, because Medicare Advantage plans offer their own schedule of deductibles, coinsurance, and/or copays.

For more details, enrollment dates, plan comparisons, and more, download this Medicare 101 guide:

Download Medicare 101

As a guest blogger, I'm unable to respond to comments posted below, but if you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly and I will be happy to help!

*Kristen Zavaski is a guest blogger, representing Axial Financial Group in Burlington, MA. She offers securities as a Registered Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC. CRR, LLP (also represented as CRR, CRR CPA), Axial Financial Group, and Commonwealth Financial Network are separate and unrelated entities. Kristen can be reached at 781-273-1400 or

This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend that you consult a tax preparer, professional tax advisor, or lawyer.

Topics: Retirement, Wealth Management, Healthcare