Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15, 2021. There are new changes to Medicare for 2022 that may impact your coverage and services in addition to regular Medicare coverage for Americans who are ages 65 and older and younger people with disabilities. First, let’s review Medicare and what’s new for 2022:
What Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare Part A pays for hospital costs while Part B covers doctor visits. Medicare Part D offers coverage for prescription drugs. After you enroll in Medicare Part A or Part B, you may replace them with Medicare Advantage. This private health insurance plan usually includes Part D and additional benefits you won’t have through Medicare Part A or B, like dental and vision benefits.
You may want to supplement Medicare Part A or Part B with a Medigap plan. If you choose a Medigap insurance plan, Part A and Part B will cover most of your out-of-pocket costs, while the Medigap insurance plan will take care of your coinsurance and deductible.
What’s new to Medicare?
Many people with Medicare are at higher risk for COVID-19 illness, so it’s essential to take the necessary steps to keep yourself and others safe. Medicare now covers several items and services related to COVID-19:
- FDA-authorized vaccines
- Diagnostic tests to check to see if you have COVID-19.
- Antibody tests
- Monoclonal antibody treatments (You must meet certain conditions to qualify)
Cognitive assessment & care plan services
Medicare covers a cognitive assessment to help detect the earliest signs of cognitive impairment. If you show signs of cognitive impairment, Medicare also covers a separate visit with your regular doctor or specialist to thoroughly review your cognitive function, establish or confirm a diagnosis like dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, and develop a care plan.
Blood-based biomarker test
Medicare covers this lab test in some instances (if available), once every three years. To be eligible you must meet all of these conditions:
- You’re between ages 50-85.
- You show no symptoms of colorectal disease.
- You’re at average risk of developing colorectal cancer.
You pay nothing for the test if your doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts the assignment.
How Do You Sign Up for Medicare?
If you receive Social Security benefits when you turn age 65, you'll automatically enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you would like Medicare Part D or prescription drug coverage, you'll have to enroll on your own as it's not automatic.
In the event you do not receive Social Security benefits but qualify for Medicare, you may enroll online via the Social Security Administration website. You will need to enroll three months before your 65th birthday month, during your birthday month, or three months after your birthday month.
Keep in mind that you do not have to sign up for Medicare if you continue to work or have other health coverage before turning age 65.
Medicare and Retirement Planning
It’s essential to consider your healthcare options in retirement, including Medicare, and plan for remaining medical costs. By understanding your health care insurance options before you enroll in any Medicare plan, you may be able to avoid medical expenses that can deplete your retirement savings.
Consult Your Financial Professional
Your financial professional can help you navigate Medicare and design a plan for your healthcare expenses in retirement.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
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