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Medicare Frequently Asked Questions

No obligation to enroll

Medicare Explained

How do I Enroll in Medicare?

Well, it varies based on your circumstances. However, anyone turning 65, or who is under 65 and qualifies on the basis of disability or other special situation may enroll.

Why would someone want extra coverage in addition to Medicare Part A and Part B?

Part A only pays about 80% of your Medicare-approved hospital costs. You have to pay the other 20%. Part B pays for a portion of your doctor visits, procedures and tests. A Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) may help keep your healthcare costs more affordable. Also, many Part C plans can include Part D prescription drug coverage.

What is a Medicare Supplement Plan?

These plans add additional benefits to those provided by Medicare Part A and Part B. There are 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans (A to N). Plans F and G provide the broadest coverage. All 10 plans are standardized and identical from one insurance carrier to another.

Do Medicare Advantage Plans include Prescription Drug Coverage?

Most Medicare Advantage plans include Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D).

How so I switch Medicare plans?

Each year, you have a chance to make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage for the following year during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). You can also make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage when certain events happen in your life, like if you move or you lose other insurance coverage. These chances to make changes are called Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs). There are certain rules about when you can make changes and the type of changes you can make are different for each SEP.

What is the General Enrollment Period?

If you do not enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period and you don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you can use the General Enrollment Period (GEP) to enroll in Part A and Part B. GEP enrollment runs from January 1st through March 31st. Coverage begins the following July 1st. There may also be a penalty fee for late enrollment.

What Special Enrollment Periods are there?

Certain events and life changes such as moving or losing employer coverage create a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for you. During this window you can enroll in Medicare Advantage or change existing Medicare coverage outside the Initial Enrollment Period. Speak with your licensed SelectQuote sales agent to see if you qualify for a SEP.

How do I use my Medicare Card?

Your Medicare Card shows whether your have Part A, Part B or both. You will also receive an additional card if you choose to have a Medicare Advantage Plan Part C. Carry your cards with you and let your doctor, hospital, or other health care provider see your cards if you need medical care.

Do zero-premium plans exist? How do they work?

Yes. However, they may not be the cheapest Medicare Advantage offerings in your state. They tend to include higher prescription drug costs, copayments and deductibles. Talk with your SelectQuote licensed sales agent about zero-premium plans and if they’re right for you.

How do I know if I have Medicare Part A and B?

It will be clearly stated on the front of your red, white and blue Medicare card under the heading “Is Entitled To”.

Does Medicare cover dental?

Original Medicare doesn’t, but some Medicare Advantage plans can have dental coverage built in. If you pick a plan that doesn’t have it built in, SelectQuote can help you with a standalone dental plan.

What are Medicare Part A and Part B?

Medicare Part A helps cover most medically necessary hospital care, skilled nursing care facility care, nursing home care, hospice and home health services. There is a monthly premium for Part A, but many people will qualify for premium-free Part A*. 

 Medicare Part B helps cover most medically necessary doctors’ services, preventive care, lab tests, x-rays and some health and ambulance services. You pay a monthly premium for Part B.

*If you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 40 calendar quarters (10 years)

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) are offered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. A Medicare Advantage plan includes all the benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B, working in place of them. These plans may also include additional benefits like hearing, dental, vision and fitness programs, as well as Medicare prescription drug coverage as a part of the plan.

What benefits do Medicare Supplement Plans provide?

They provide additional benefits to help fill in the gaps in Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, like covering 20% of coinsurance that Medicare doesn’t pay for. However, Medicare Supplement Insurance does not provide drug coverage, so you’ll want a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) for that.

Do I need a Prescription Drug Plan?

That’s up to you. A Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) is insurance that helps protect you against high out-of-pocket drug costs. If you decide not to join a plan when you’re first eligible, and you don’t have other creditable Prescription Drug coverage, you’ll likely pay a late enrollment penalty later. So even if you don’t take many prescriptions now, you should consider joining a Prescription Drug Plan.

What is the Initial Enrollment Period?

The Initial Enrollment Period for Part A and Part B starts 3 months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65.

What is the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)?

AEP allows you to make any changes to your Medicare Advantage coverage once a year. AEP enrollment runs October 15th through December 7th every year.

What is the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period?

Open enrollment for a Medicare Supplement or “Medigap” Plan last for 6 months beginning the month you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. Some states have an open enrollment period for eligible individuals under the age of 65, and a second enrollment period when they turn 65. If you are under 65, check with your state insurance department for guidelines.

Am I covered if I travel?

Yes. Just present your Medicare Supplement card and Medicare card at any participating provider in the United States that accepts Medicare patients.

Will I have to go through underwriting?

Possibly. If you’re enrolled in Medicare and choose to add a Medicare Supplement plan to your original coverage, the private insurer might require underwriting before selling you a Medigap policy. However, you can avoid underwriting, by selecting a Medigap plan during your six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period.

What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP)?

This is the time period when Medicare Advantage policyholders are eligible to make a one-time plan change. OEP runs from January 1 to March 31. During OEP, Medicare Advantage members are eligible to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan, drop their Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare, or sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plan if returning to Original Medicare.

Getting Your Policy

What happens after I enroll?

SelectQuote’s personal customer care agent will contact you to make sure new policy goes into effect, answer any additional questions and make sure that you have all the resources you need. You should also receive all plan materials from your carrier within 2 to 3 weeks.

Do I pay SelectQuote or my new insurance company?

No. All billing will be handled by your new insurance company. Your rate is based on the payment option you’ve selected through your SelectQuote licensed sales agent.

How do I change my primary care physician?

Please talk to your carrier by calling the number on your card.

When will I get my new ID cards?

Your carrier should supply these to you within 2 to 3 weeks of enrolling.

Who do I contact if I have a claim?

Always contact the insurance company that your policy is through.

About SelectQuote

Why should I shop through SelectQuote?

SelectQuote is your one-stop marketplace for Medicare plans. We shop up to 21 insurance companies, provide you advice and help make it easier for you to compare rates. It costs the same to purchase insurance through us as it does directly through our carrier partners.

What companies does SelectQuote represent?

Aetna, Aetna Health & Life, American Continental & Continental Life, Anthem, Blue Shield of California, Coventry, Gerber, Assured Life, GPM, Humana, Loyal American, Mutual of Omaha, United of Omaha, United World, Omaha Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna HealthSprings, Cigna ARLIC, Cigna Health and Life, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Manhattan Life, CarePlus.

How confidential is my information?

We not only value your business, we value your privacy. We follow all HIPAA laws so your information is always kept 100% confidential.

Are SelectQuote's services free?

Yes, there is no cost or obligation to enroll. It will never cost you a dime extra to purchase through us.

How does SelectQuote pick the companies It represents?

We select the carriers we represent based on their AM Best Financial rating for financial strength, ability to pay claims and being consumer friendly.