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.  Railroad retirement payroll taxes include a Medicare hospital insurance tax just like social security payroll taxes.  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. The program is designed to encourage self-care dialysis and kidney transplantation and clarify reimbursement procedures to achieve effective cost control.  Click here for more information on Medicare and ESRD.


What is Low Income Subsidy (LIS)? - Those Medicare beneficiaries with limited resources and income may also qualify for Low Income Subsidy or also known as "Extra Help". This Extra Help will help pay for the costs of monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and copayments.  Click here to learn how to apply, or contact our office for assistance.


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.  For example, if you receive prescriptions refills from the VA, you may not be in need of a Prescription Drug Plan since the VA prescription drug benefit is considered "creditable coverage", and as such, you would not be penalized for not enrolling in a Part D plan.


What is "Creditable Coverage"? - Prescription drug coverage that is expected to pay, on average, at least as much as Medicare‚Äôs standard prescription drug coverage (for example, from an employer or union).  Those who have this kind of coverage when they become eligible for Medicare may elect to keep that coverage and would not be assessed a penalty if they decide to enroll in Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) at later time.


What is a Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP)? - An amount added to your monthly premium for Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), if you do not join when you are first eligible and were without creditable coverage. The LEP is calculated by multiplying 1% of the "national base beneficiary premium" ($33.13 in 2015) by the number of full, uncovered months of eligibility for Part D, and then rounded to the nearest 10 cents.


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