When you reach out to me by phone or email, I will collect some introductory information to get an idea of what is important to you. We can set up a meeting in your home, my office or at a local coffee shop to go over Medicare 101 and evaluate plans. Before we sit down together, I will run a quote for your prescriptions and research which plans cover your doctors.
My office is located at Western Asset Protection, 4550 E Bell Rd #118, Phoenix, AZ 85032. I am not there on a regular schedule; I am usually in the field and on the road for appointments. If I don’t answer, I usually make callbacks when I get back to the home office at the end of the day or the next day.
Medicare Part A covers hospital room and board. If you are drawing Social Security benefits and you have worked 40 quarters or 10 years, Part A starts automatically upon turning 65. This is the part of Medicare you are entitled to because you paid into it while you worked.
Medicare Part B covers medical expenses which include doctors services, diagnostics, medical equipment, etc. You pay a monthly premium to Social Security for this coverage. In 2019 it is $135.50/month. If you have a higher income in the last two years, you might have to pay a higher premium for Part B called the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA.) You may or may not have to sign up for Part B:
- If you are currently drawing Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Part B upon turning 65 and should get your card in the mail. You Part B premium will be subtracted from your benefits before they are deposited in your account.
- If you are not drawing Social Security benefits, you need to sign up for Part B. Visit the Social Security office or go online to SSA.GOV. Together, we can determine when to sign up based on your initial enrollment, special election or general election period. I can also provide the forms that Social Security will require.
If you are still working and have creditable coverage through your or your spouses employer you may be able to delay starting your Part B. Call me for more information.
Our First Appointment
An appointment typically lasts 90 minutes. I will ask you to complete the Scope of Appointment form. It documents topics you would like to discuss with me; it does not obligate you to enroll in a plan. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires this form be completed in an effort to protect Medicare Beneficiaries.
We will go over different plan structures like Original Medicare (Part A & Part B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), Prescription Drug Plans (Part D), Medicare Supplements (Plan F, G, N, etc), and Hospital Indemnity policies.
Then we will talk about your situation as it relates to:
- Medical and Drug Costs (Premiums, Co-pays & Coinsurance)
- Provider Networks (Doctors, Hospitals, Pharmacies, Labs, Imaging Facilities, etc)
- Service Area (Local or Nationwide coverage)
You are never obligated to enroll in a plan with me. If you want some time to think it over, you usually have until the day before you want the plan to be effective to enroll (FYI- this does not apply to starting your Part B with Social Security!) When you are ready, I will help you complete and submit the application.
Once you are enrolled in a plan, you can always contact me by phone or email to consult. My clients call me to confirm enrollment, find a new specialist/provider in network, understand plan benefits, lookup a prescription and get new ID cards.
Within 7-10 business days you will receive a letter confirming your enrollment in the plan. This serves as your ID card until the Welcome Kit & ID cards arrive from the plan.
Annual Enrollment (October 15- December 7)
Each year in September, I write a letter to all my clients letting them know about the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Advantage Plans (Part C) and Drug Plans (Part D). During this time we discuss your current plan and any benefit changes that are happening for next year. If no switch is necessary, your plan will automatically continue for next year. If you decide to switch, your new plan will start on January 1st.
Open Enrollment (January 1 – March 31)
This is a new election period. If you have an Advantage Plan (Part C), you can switch to another Advantage plan in your area or disenroll back to Original Medicare (in which case you are probably purchasing a Medigap policy with standalone drug plan.
Special Election Period
There are also several times outside of the regular enrollment periods that you can change plans. Usually an event will trigger this right to switch such as moving, qualifying for state or federal assistance, enrolling on a plan specifically aimed at addressing a chronic condition (diabetes or heart disease) that you have.
Supplements are made up of ten plans that are standardized by letter: A, B, C, D, F, G, J, K, L, N. These plans do not have the same enrollment periods as listed above. You can switch and sign up for a Supplement any time of the year. However, you will have to go through medical underwriting to have a policy issued. There are two times when you don’t need to answer medical questions when applying for a Supplement plans: open enrollment (different than what is listed above) and guarantee issue rights. Open enrollment for a Supplement is triggered when a person turns 65 and/or starts their Medicare Part B. You then have six months to sign up without underwriting. To learn more about guarantee issue rights, look on page 22 of the CMS publication titled, “Medicare Medigap Shoppers Guide” or call me.
(623) 428-6921 TTY: 711
By calling this number you will be speaking with a licensed agent.
I enjoy having lasting relationships with my clients. I strive to provide the information you need to maintain coverage that best fits your needs.