What if I have Medicare before turning age 65? - If you are under the age of 65 and have Original Medicare, you are eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) and/or Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).  Your eligibility for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) will depend upon the area in which you live.  As a rule of thumb, most Medicare Supplement plans in this instance are either not offered or too expensive to be a viable option.


What if I've been paying into the Railroad Retirement Board, not Social Security? - The Medicare program covers railroad workers just like workers under social security.  You have the same options, guidelines, and restrictions as those Medicare beneficiaries who have paid into Social Security.  Click here for more information.


What if I have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)? - There is a national Medicare End Stage Renal Disease Program.  Click here for more information on Medicare and ESRD.


What is a Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNPs)? - SNPs are a type of Medicare Advantage (Part C), but limit membership to people with specific diseases or characteristics, and tailor their benefits, provider choices, and drug formularies to best meet the specific needs of the groups they serve.  Besides being Medicare eligible, you must live in the plan's service area, and meet the plan's eligibility requirements, like one of these:  possess a chronic condition (heart disorder, diabetes, cancer, ESRD, lung disorder); live in an institution, or require nursing care at home; or are Medicare and Medicaid eligible (dual-eligible).  Click here for more information.


What if I have both Medicare and Medicaid?- Depending on the locality in which you live will determine your options.  Medicaid is a state administered program and the eligibility and benefits can vary depending your state of residence.  Also, Medicaid has different levels of benefit so even though you may qualify for partial Medicaid, a SNP designed for dual-eligibles may not be your best suited option.


What is a Medicare Cost Plan? - You can join these plans even if you only have Medicare Part B.  If you have Part A and Part B and go to a non-network provider, the services are covered under Original Medicare and would be responsible for the Part A and Part B coinsurance and deductible.  You can join anytime the plan is accepting new members and can leave anytime to return to Original Medicare.  Some plans offer Medicare Prescription Drug coverage, and if not, you can join a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan


What if I have Medicare as well as Veterans Affairs Benefits (VA)? - Receiving any level of Veterans Benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not impact your eligibility to select a Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug Plan, or Medicare Supplement.  Depending on the manner in which you utilize those benefits should be considered in making your plan selection. 

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