Sometimes you just need a map. There are hundreds of websites with Medicare and Medicare supplement information with a few provided by the government itself but that can be overwhelming especially if you're rather new to Medicare itself. It's bad enough with all the new jargon like Part A or Part B and J plans. We wanted to help simplify things (wouldn't that be nice for a change) and direct you to the areas for your most common Medicare needs. A Medicare map if you will. So, let's start with the basics.
First of all, the medicare.gov website is the source for most if not all the information you'll need. When you go to the site, they've done a pretty good job of laying out the land but we're going to make it even easier for you. Let's go step by step through the main questions that arise.
Signing Up for Part A and Part B. This can all be done online now and you will do this at the very beginning when you're eligible for Medicare. From the home page, although there's a section to create an account (which you'll want to do anyway), you'll see a separate link in the middle for "Apply for Medicare Now". This is where you want to go and it will redirect you the Social Security website where this is actually handled. Make your Part A is ready to go and sign up for Part B if you haven't already. These are the two main parts of traditional Medicare. You'll need these in place to qualify for a Medicare supplement anyway.
Signing up for Part D. Part D is the part of Medicare that covers out-patient prescription. The Part D plans are administered or offered by individual carriers (conforming to base level requirements by Medicare) but a good place to look is again on the Medicare website. Again, in the center of the page (current layout), under "Top 6 Services", you'll see a link for "Find Health and Drug Plans" . Unfortunately, they now bundle health (medigap) plans and Part D. The Part D plan finder works well since it look at all your existing medications when comparing available plans but Medicare supplements are a little more involved. There's a question of carrier strength, weird pricing gimmicks that some carriers have up front only to charge you more later on. This is where a licensed professional comes in handy. Part D selection is probably fine right online from this section. You'll need to answer a few screens of questions to get there. You can always use us as a resource to run your Part D and Medicare supplement quote together.
Medicare and You. This is the annual encyclopedia of all things Medicare. If you're really into knowing the nuts and bolts of the plan itself, eligibility, times and dates, then by all means. Otherwise, you can ask us your particular questions and leave your summer reading to more interesting fare.
What is Covered. This, however, is very useful tool on the medicare.gov website since it breaks out how Medicare pays for various services by the name of the service which is intuitively how people think and search. Who wants to read through the entire Part B list of benefits when all you want to know is how a lab will be covered. You can find this listing from the home page or at this link:
Finally, as a member, researching a claim is an important and useful tool on the medicare.gov webiste. If it's a more generic question such as whether a certain service is covered, the "What is Covered" link above is better. If you want to research an actual claim you have experienced, you would use the "Appeal a Claim" link at the bottom right side under "Need Help" tab.
These are the core questions we get on a daily basis regarding core Medicare. Of course, we're here to help with any questions pertaining to Medicare supplements and medigap polices as that is our true expertise.