Top 10 Medicare FAQs

Medicare is a complicated topic. It makes sense that there are a lot of questions floating around. Some of the most common Medicare related questions are answered below.

Top 10 FAQs

  1. Will preexisting medical conditions work against me in Medicare? No. The one exception is that those with advanced kidney failure (End Stage Renal Disease or ESRD) can’t enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. However, they can still receive coverage under Original Medicare.
  2. Are my out-of-pocket expenses capped in Medicare? No, not in Original Medicare. You can purchase a Medigap plan to help with those costs, however. Alternatively, under Medicare Advantage plans, there is an annual cap on how much you can spend out of pocket.
  3. Will Medicare cover my spouse or dependents? No. Medicare covers only you. A person must be age 65 to join or have a certain disability. If you are married, both you and your spouse need to join Medicare separately and must pay separate premiums.
  4. Will my Medicare benefits end? No. Your Medicare coverage will last as long as you need it, as long as you live.
  5. How can I get dental and vision coverage though Medicare? Original Medicare does not cover vision or dental, but some Medicare Advantage plans do cover these services.
  6. Do I have to sign up for Medicare again each year? No, your choices will stay the same. However, you might want to review and make changes during the annual Open Enrollment period from October 15 – December 7 to make sure your coverage fits your exact needs.
  7. Will I be automatically enrolled in Medicare at age 65? If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, then yes. You’ll be enrolled in Parts A and B, and your Part B premiums will be automatically deducted from your Social Security checks. If you’re not already receiving Social Security, then you will need to sign up through Social Security. You can do this during your intial enrollment period: the three months leading up to your 65th birthday, your birthday month, and the following three months.
  8. What is not covered by Medicare? Original Medicare does not cover long-term care, dental, vision, hearing, or acupuncture and other alternative medicine practices. See our more complete list of what Medicare does not cover. Some Medicare Advantage plans do cover vision and dental – research plans in your area to find out.
  9. How much does Medicare cost? Costs for Original (not Medicare Advantage) Medicare in 2018 are almost the same as 2017, with a few small changes. The standard monthly premium for Part B in 2018 is $134 per month.
  10. How can I get help paying for my prescriptions under Medicare Part D? Extra Help provides help paying for prescriptions for those with low income and assets. Other ways to save are using generic drugs, choosing a plan with extra “donut hole”coverage, and Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs.