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If you or someone you love is eligible for Medicare soon, now is the time to get an understanding of the program. There are many choices to make when choosing Medicare coverage that best meets your individual health insurance needs. Navigating Medicare can be confusing, but Direct Auto Insurance is here to help! We’ve united with the Medicare experts at Medicare.org to make it easy for you to research, compare, buy, and enroll in the right health insurance plan at the right price. Start comparing Medicare plans today and call 1-844-961-9453 – TTY 711 to speak with a licensed sales agent to learn more.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 years of age or older, and individuals with certain disabilities, or those diagnosed with permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, also called End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Medicare is made up of four parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Whether you decide to get your benefits through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, understanding the benefits of each can help you make these important choices. Here is some basic information to help get you started:

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is often referred to as “hospital insurance.” Part A helps cover the costs of hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice, and home health services. Most people are eligible for premium-free Part A due to taxes they paid while working. If you are not eligible for premium-free Part A benefits, you may be able to purchase Part A coverage.

Some people are automatically enrolled in Part A, including:

  • Individuals already getting benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) or Social Security
  • Individuals under the age of 65 with a disability
  • Individuals with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • If you are automatically enrolled, you will receive your Medicare card in the mail three months before your 65th birthday, or your 25th month of disability.

Some people need to sign up for Part A, including those who are still working and do not receive Social Security or RRB benefits, and those who qualify due to ESRD.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B is also known as “medical insurance.”  Part B covers medically necessary services and supplies that meet accepted standards of medical practice and are needed to diagnose or treat a medical condition. Part B also covers preventive care, which can include important vaccinations, screenings, and annual wellness visits.

Part B provides benefits including coverage for:

  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
  • Ambulance Services
  • Clinical Research
  • Mental Health Services (including inpatient and outpatient care)
  • Second Opinions (before surgery)
  • Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B, as well as an annual deductible. If you do not sign up for Part B when you are first eligible and decide to enroll later, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

Medicare Part C

Part C, also known as a “Medicare Advantage Plan,” is health insurance offered by private companies that contract with Medicare in order to provide you with your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include:

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
  • Private Fee-for-Service Plans
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans
  • Medicare Advantage Plans must include the same Part A and Part B coverage offered by the federal program, but many offer additional benefits, including vision and dental care, hearing exams, fitness club memberships, and prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Part D

Part D, or prescription drug coverage, is an essential component to your Medicare health care coverage. Prescriptions are not covered by Part A or Part B, or by Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap). Without any coverage, the cost of medications you require to maintain or improve your health could be financially overwhelming.

Prescription drug coverage is available through stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) if you have Original Medicare, or through Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage (MA-PDs). If you already take specific medications, you can compare plans at Medicare.org to make sure that the prescriptions you require are covered in a particular plan’s formulary, or list of covered drugs. The costs of Part D coverage can vary from plan to plan, but you will likely pay a premium, yearly deductible, and copayments or coinsurance.

The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

Open Enrollment, also called the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), runs for approximately seven weeks from October 15th through December 7th. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their existing Medicare plan or enroll for the first time if they missed their seven-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

When you’re ready to take the next step, Direct Auto is here to help you choose the best health insurance for your needs. Call a licensed sales agent at 1-844-961-9453 – TTY 711 with your Medicare questions, or visit our favorite Medicare experts at Medicare.org to learn more! Standard call center hours of operation are Monday – Friday 5:00 am to 6:00 pm PT. During AEP, our extended hours are Monday – Saturday 5:00 am to 8:00 pm PT.

*Medicare.org is a non-government site and is operated by HealthCompare Insurance Services, a licensed health insurance agency certified to sell Medicare products. It contains information about and access to insurance plans for Medicare beneficiaries, individuals soon eligible for Medicare and those advising on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare.org is not endorsed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), or any other government agency. If you’re looking for the government’s Medicare site, please navigate to www.medicare.gov. HealthCompare Insurance Services, Inc. is a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS organizations and Medicare Prescription Drug plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal. The purpose of this communication is the solicitation of insurance. Contact will be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1, of each year. The plans we represent do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. To learn more about a plan’s nondiscrimination policy, please click on the carrier’s link below.