Medicare Rights Center: Click Here or phone 800-333-4144
Signing Up for Medicare
If you are a retiree receiving your health insurance from Verizon, you will go on Medicare when you turn 65, and Verizon/Anthem will become your supplemental insurance.
If you are already collecting Social Security or sign up to collect when you turn 65, you will be automatically signed up for Medicare.
If not, you have to sign up for Parts A and B, which you can do online or at a Social Security office. You can sign up anytime from 3 months before to 3 months after you turn 65. After that there is a penalty.
Part A is free and covers hospitals, home health care, and some nursing home care.
Part B covers doctors, lab tests, and supplies such as wheelchairs. You have to pay a premium for Part B, usually $104.90 per month, to Medicare (not Verizon). If you are collecting SS, it will be deducted from your check. Otherwise you have to make arrangements to pay. See the Medicare.gov website for ways to do this. Verizon reimburses part of this payment
There is also a Part D for drugs but DO NOT sign up for this. It is already included in the benefits we receive from Anthem (Verizon).
Medicare: When & How to Apply for Benefits
Generally, Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities and people with End Stage Renal Disease. If you are already receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. If you want to apply for Medicare, call (1-800-772-1213) or visit their website: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.
If you receive a phone call asking for Medicare Information for Affordable Care Act:
Answer From Medicare Rights Center www.medicarerights.org
This is a very important question to ask, particularly since there is so much confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act and Medicare. To answer your question, Medicare representatives will never call you and ask for personal information like your bank account number, Medicare number or Social Security number. People with Medicare do not have to give out their personal information to Medicare representatives as a result of the Affordable Care Act, also known as the health care law. In addition, Medicare private plans like Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D plans cannot call and ask for your financial or personal information. In fact, plan representatives cannot call or email you if you have never been a member of the plan and you did not invite the plan to contact you.
In general, be wary of websites, callers or individuals that ask for personal information, like your bank account number or Social Security number. For example, you should be suspicious of callers who claim to work for Medicare and ask for your bank account information. Know that you should not give out your personal information to unidentified callers, as there have been many instances of people giving out their information to callers pretending to be government officials. You should also refrain from giving out your personal, health or financial information to strangers who come to your home uninvited. Remember, you can always call 800-MEDICARE, before giving out your personal information if you need to. It is very important that you safeguard your information closely to avoid becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft.
If you receive a suspicious call from someone asking for your personal information, take down the name of the person you spoke to, as well as the date and time of the call. You can report callers pretending to be Medicare representatives or government officials to 800-MEDICARE or to your local Senior Medicare Patrol. To locate your state Senior Medicare Patrol, you can go online and visit www.smpresource.org.If you feel that you are a victim of identity theft, you may also want to contact your local police department as soon as possible. You can also contact the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging Fraud Hotline by calling them at 855-303-9470 or by visiting them online at http://www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline.
Advance Beneficiary Notice Q&A From Medicare Rights Center
I recently went to see my doctor to receive some preventive care screenings, and wanted to get an EKG test. My doctor said that Medicare might not cover this test, and gave me something to sign called an Advance Beneficiary Notice. I’m unsure whether I should sign this notice. What is the purpose of an Advance Beneficiary Notice?
An Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) is a notice you should receive when a provider or supplier offers you a service or item that Medicare normally covers but may not cover for you. Know that ABNs only apply to people with Original Medicare; people with Medicare Advantage plans will not receive an ABN.
The ABN must list the reason that your doctor thinks Medicare will not cover the EKG. The notice serves as a warning that Medicare might not pay for your care; it is not an official determination from Medicare about whether or not care is covered. It may still be possible to get Medicare to cover your care if you agree to pay for it if Medicare formally denies payment.
If you receive an ABN but decide to move forward with the item or service, you must select Option 1 on the ABN form. Option 1 says you agree to pay for care in the event Medicare denies coverage. It also requires your provider to submit the bill to Medicare after providing you care. If you do not select Option 1, you will have no chance of Medicare coverage because your provider will not be required to submit the bill to Medicare.
You will know if the service is covered by checking the claim on your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN). An MSN is a summary of the health care services you have received over the past three months, and it describes whether Medicare has covered these services. If the claim is denied, you can appeal by following the directions on the MSN. If the claim is approved, the MSN will say how much you owe. If you paid the provider more than that, the provider must refund you the excess amount.
Keep in mind, by agreeing to get care and signing Option 1 on ABN, you must be willing to pay upfront for care at the time you get it and you risk being responsible for all charges if Medicare denies payment. In some cases, this can amount to a significant bill. If you receive an ABN, be sure to discuss your options for care with your provider