Eligible for Medicare?
Free Medicare Consultation Services Now Available for CMMD and Associates Patients
Sorting through Medicare options and information can be overwhelming and complicated. We think no patient—or caregiver—should have to navigate Medicare options alone, uncertain of how to enroll, what costs they may encounter, or what programs can help them fill in the gaps.
As a patient of Christine Meyer, MD and Associates, you have free access to an independent broker who will personally assist you in understanding Medicare options, so you can select a plan with confidence. Whether you are a Medicare enrollee or a caregiver, a one-on-one meeting or phone call with our broker can help you understand eligibility, the differences between each Medicare plan, and prescription coverage (including minimizing your out-of-pocket costs). Call today to schedule your free consultation!
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Over 35 years experience
Did You Know?
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans include five tiers of prescriptions drugs. The lower the tier, the lower your co-pay for that drug. Each insurer decides the tier a specific drug will be categorized into. There are also formulary exceptions, quantity limits, prior authorization requirements and step therapies.
This is just one of the many topics John can explain at your Medicare consultation meeting. Call (484) 364-2016 to schedule yours today.
Topics to explore:
Coverage, telehealth and more during the COVID-19 crisis
What should I do and how do I sign up?
Medicare and COVID-19
Medicare covers related needs:
Medicare covers the lab tests for COVID-19. You pay no out-of-pocket costs.
Medicare covers all medically necessary hospitalizations. This includes if you're diagnosed with COVID-19 and might otherwise have been discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay, but instead you need to stay in the hospital under quarantine.
At this time, there's no vaccine for COVID-19. However, if one becomes available, it will be covered by all Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D).
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have access to these same benefits. Medicare allows these plans to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 lab tests. Many plans offer additional telehealth benefits beyond the ones described below. Check with your plan about your coverage and costs.
Scammers may use the coronavirus national emergency to take advantage of people while they’re distracted. As always, guard your Medicare card like a credit card, check Medicare claims summary forms for errors, and if someone calls asking for your Medicare Number, hang up!
Telehealth & related services
Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services to respond to the current Public Health Emergency. These services expand the current telehealth covered services, to help you have access from more places (including your home), with a wider range of communication tools (including smartphones), to interact with a range of providers (such as doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social worker). During this time, you will be able to receive a specific set of services through telehealth including evaluation and management visits (common office visits), mental health counseling and preventive health screenings. This will help ensure you are able to visit with your doctor from your home, without having to go to a doctor’s office or hospital, which puts you and others at risk of exposure to COVID-19.
You may be able to communicate with your doctors or certain other practitioners without necessarily going to the doctor’s office in person for a full visit. Medicare pays for “virtual check-ins”—brief, virtual services with your established physician or certain practitioners where the communication isn't related to a medical visit within the previous 7 days and doesn’t lead to a medical visit within the next 24 hours (or soonest appointment available).
You need to consent verbally to using virtual check-ins and your doctor must document that consent in your medical record before you use this service. You pay your usual Medicare coinsurance and deductible for these services.
Medicare also pays for you to communicate with your doctors using online patient portals without going to the doctor’s office. Like the virtual check-ins, you must initiate these individual communications.
If you live in a rural area, you may use communication technology to have full visits with your doctors. Our patients are using a real-time audio and video communication system to communicate with a remotely-located practitioner. Medicare pays for many medical visits through this telehealth benefit.
Our Medicare broker and consultation, John Maxwell, is able to do Medicare consultations remotely, over the phone or through Zoom, and can also do applications for all carriers remotely so that we can maintain appropriate social distancing. Contact John at (484) 364-2016 to set up your free, remote Medicare consultation.
I've lost my job and need to sign up for Medicare. What should I do?
People who work past age 65 and have health insurance through their employers can delay Medicare enrollment without incurring steep penalties for late enrollment in Part B (10 percent lifetime for each 12-month period past the otherwise-mandatory sign-up age of 65).
If you were in this situation and need to sign up for Medicare now because of a job loss, you can take advantage of a special enrollment period that is available to you up to eight months after you lose coverage from employment.
Our broker, John Maxwell is available to guide you through the process of getting started with Medicare. Feel free to call John at (484) 364-2016 with any questions you have.
The Medicare application is processed through local Social Security. During the COVID-19 response, local offices are closed to protect the public and employees. However, some field office staff are still reporting for work, and others are working virtually. Offices are offering in-person assistance for a short list of crucial services. These include reinstatement of benefits in dire circumstances; assistance to people with severe disabilities, blindness or terminal illnesses; and people in dire need of eligibility decisions for Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid eligibility related to work status. Those seeking these services must call in advance.
You may also need to interact with a local field office is if you are filing for Medicare benefits for the first time and are past the initial filing age of 65. In that situation, call your local office to get the application started, because you will need to file some forms.
If you need to visit a local Social Security office for in-person services, call the office to request an appointment. You can find the closest office using an office locator tool on the Social Security website, where the agency is also providing updates and information on services.
Start the process by calling your local office to get the application started — you can find it using this local office directory. The field agent there can advise you on which forms and supporting documents (also provided below), you will need to submit, and where to mail them. Request a “protected filing date” and proof of receipt from the office. This will create a record that you applied for benefits on that date, which could affect the date your coverage begins.
If you have not previously enrolled in Part A, you’ll need to do that along with Part B. This is also the time to enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan and a Medigap supplemental policy. Or, select a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage.
If your job loss happens to occur around the time you turn 65, the process will be less complex. This is called your Initial Enrollment Period — the three months before, the month of, and the three months after your 65th birthday.
If you already are receiving Social Security, you will receive your Medicare card automatically for Part A and Part B. If you are not on Social Security (this is more likely, since you’ve been working), you’ll need to sign up. Call Social Security at (800-772-1213) or sign up online. The temporary hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST. Please keep in mind that wait times may exceed two or more hours when waiting to speak to a Social Security Administration representative.
There can be a gap of one to three months before Part A and Part B coverage starts, depending on when you sign up during the initial enrollment period. However, Part A coverage is retroactive up to six months, back to the first month that you were eligible for Medicare.