There is never a cost to you for having us help you with Medicare!
If you are turning 65 soon, calls us today! We will assist you in enrolling in Medicare and help you understand your Medicare options.
Check out our Frequently Asked Medicare Questions at the bottom of this page!
Medicare Supplement Plans
A Medicare Supplemental Plan, also often referred to as a Medigap policy, is a plan that supplements Original Medicare. Depending on which plan you select, a Medicare Supplemental Plan will cover a portion or all of the 20% that is not covered by Original Medicare, and may cover part or all of the Part A and Part B deductibles.
A Medicare Supplemental Plan does NOT cover prescription drugs. When you have a Medicare Supplemental Plan, you will also need to enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP or Part D) to have coverage for your medications.
A Medicare Supplemental Plan gives you the freedom to choose any doctor that you want.
Original Medicare (Part A & Part B)
Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, available to you once you are 65 years old, are often referred to as Original Medicare. Medicare will pay 80% of covered benefits. Original Medicare also has a deductible for both Part A and Part B.
In order to have coverage for more than the 80% covered by Original Medicare, you will need to enroll in either a Medicare Advantage Plan, or a Medicare Supplemental Plan.
Medicare guidelines are very complex and difficult to understand. If you want to learn more about Medicare, or have any questions, please give us a call. We will help you, and answer all of your questions.
Advantage Plans (Part C)
Advantage plans are also known as Part C of Medicare. They combine medical coverage with additional benefits such as Dental, Vision, and many other benefits into a single plan. Some Advantage plans will also help pay part of your Medicare premiums and deductibles, and may even send you extra money for other needs. Most Advantage plans also include drug coverage. You cannot have both a Part C plan AND a Part D plan. This can be confusing, so we will help you with this.
Not all advantage plans are available in all areas. Advantage plans function differently than Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans.
We are knowledgeable about the Advantage plans available where you live, and can help you determine if an Advantage plan is right for you.
Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)
Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) are also known as PART D of Medicare. Prescription Drug Plans change every year. The changes can include premium cost, deductible changes and formulary changes. For this reason, it is essential to review your Prescription Drug Plans every year, especially, if your medications have changed.
You cannot have both a Part C plan AND a Part D plan. This can be confusing, so we will help you with this.
If you don't review your drug plan every year, you will likely find that your total out of pocket costs for your prescription drugs are too high.
We help our clients review their drug list every year to ensure that they are still on the best plan based on their individual prescription needs.
Remember - There is never a cost to you for having us help you with Medicare!
Frequently asked questions about Medicare:
Question: I was told that I should not go to an insurance agent for help with Medicare because they will direct me to the Medicare plans that will make them the most money. Is this true?
Answer: At Meldrum Insurance, we know that funds are tight in retirement and we will show you the cost for ALL plans and let YOU choose the plan you want. We will always seek your best interest, and will help you find the plan that is best for you. In order to sign up for ANY Medicare plan, whether in person or on the phone, you must speak with a licensed insurance agent. It is in your best interest to work with an agent who lives in your local community and that you can meet with face to face. Also, when you work with a local agent, you will have somebody that you can reach out to in the event that you need to contact your insurance company. Your agent will be able to contact the insurance company on your behalf. At Meldrum Insurance, we are re-certified every year with every Medicare insurance carrier, so that we are familiar with the most current Medicare laws and understand the changes made to Medicare plans for each new benefit year.
Question: What is SHIBA?
Answer: From the website of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner for Washington State it says "Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA). A free, unbiased and confidential service of the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner, SHIBA volunteers help people of all ages and backgrounds with their Medicare questions and options."
It is important to understand that SHIBA volunteers are not licensed insurance agents. They can help guide you with your Medicare questions, but they cannot sign you up for a plan. They will likely encourage you to contact the plan carrier directly.
At Meldrum Insurance, we can help you sign up for the plan that you have chosen, and can answer any questions that you have. We receive hundreds of hours of training each year regarding Medicare Insurance, and always seek your best interest.
Question: Should I call directly to the insurance company to get the best rate?
Answer: The premium for a Medicare policy is the same whether you use a local agent, or call the insurance company directly. When you call directly to the insurance company to enroll in a Medicare plan, you will be talking to a licensed insurance agent. However, it is likely that the agent that you will speak with does not live in your local area, and is not familiar with the local doctor networks where you live. When you meet with an agent at Meldrum Insurance, you can be assured that we know about all of the local doctor networks, and can help you choose the best plan because we live right here in your community, drive on the same roads and shop in the same stores. We are your neighbors!
Question: Should I trust Medicare commercials that I see on TV?
Answer: For your safety, you should always seek a local Medicare agent who lives in your community, knows what plans are available, and is familiar with the doctor networks where you live. If you call the number given on the Medicare commercials, you will be speaking with a sales agent who DOES NOT live in your community and is NOT familiar with your local doctor networks or plans. These commercials ARE NOT put out by Medicare, but rather by large companies who spend millions of dollars in marketing these commercials in their efforts to get you to call them.
Question: What about all of the Medicare calls that I get at my home?
Answer: During the Annual Election Period between Oct 15th and December 7th every year, you have the opportunity to make changes to your Medicare plans. In order for a licensed Medicare agent to help you, you must first give them permission to talk to you. In other words, a licensed Medicare agent is required to get your permission before calling you. If somebody calls you on the phone to try and get you to sign up for a different plan without you requesting them to call you, they are breaking the law. We recommend that you meet with a local Medicare agent who is familiar with the plans available in your area and can help find the right plan for you.
Question: I have heard that some people review their drug plan every year. Is this a good idea?
Answer: Drug plans can have changes to their premium and their formulary every year. If you aren't keeping an eye on those, you are at risk of unexpected out of pocket costs for your drugs. We help our clients review their drug list and compare against all available prescription drug plans every year. This allows us to determine your expected out of pocket costs and see if there are other plans that can provide a savings compared to your current plan. It is not uncommon, especially if you have not reviewed your drug plan recently, to find that you can save a significant amount by switching to a different drug plan that covers your personal drug list better than your current plan.
Question: How do I find out about "all of the benefits that I deserve", as promised on TV?
Answer: The extra benefits mentioned on the TV commercials are associated with Medicare Advantage plans. We are knowledgeable about ALL of the Advantage plans available in your area, and can help you determine if an Advantage plan is the best plan for you.
Question: Are there FREE plans that won't cost me any money?
Answer: In some of the more heavily populated areas, like King county and a few others, there are some plans that have a zero dollar monthly premium. Depending on your needs, there may be an advantage plan in your area with a zero dollar premium. We can help you compare plans to see if one of them is the right plan for you.
Question: Are there Medicare plans that are specially designed for Veterans?
Answer: Yes! Most insurance companies have created Advantage plans that are specially designed for Veterans. These plans have special benefits, and they typically cost less then other Advantage plans.
Question: I have both Medicare and Medicaid and cannot afford an expensive Medicare plan. What can I do?
Answer: As Medicare Insurance Brokers, we have access to special plans that are created for those who are on both Medicare AND Medicaid. These plans typically have no monthly premium, and include Dental, Vision and other helpful benefits.