1. How will my current health insurance work with Medicare coverage?
Your agent should be knowledgeable and up-to-date on all current health insurance plans offered in Shelby county and throughout the state, and will be able to assist you in deciding which plan will work best with your existing health insurance.
2. How much will my monthly premium be?
Monthly premiums vary depending on which plans you enroll in. For Part A, or hospital insurance, it is usually free as you have already paid into it during your years of employment. For Parts B, C, and D, additional premiums will be added. Your agent will help you review your current health status, coverage and budget to decide the plan that is right for you.
3. How much coverage will I need?
Depending on your overall health, your current health insurance and the amount of treatment you may require each year, the coverage you need could be anything from just Part A to Medicare Advantage combined with a prescription drug plan. Working with a Medicare agent can clear confusion when it comes to deciding which plans to enroll in.
4. Which doctors and hospitals are included in the network?
This is a topic that should be addressed with your Medicare agent and provider before you enroll in a plan. Residents of larger cities in Tennessee such as Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville will have more local options than residents of smaller, more rural areas throughout the state. For those patients, travel to in-network doctors may be required.
5. What happens if I get sick while away from my family doctor/hospital?
Under standard Medicare, you will be covered for treatment throughout the United States. With Medicare Advantage and other private HMOs, you may be required to seek attention from a more restrictive network of doctors and hospitals. Again, this concern should be discussed with your Medicare agent before deciding on a plan.
6. Is a referral required in order to see a specialist?
Many Medicare plans require that a patient see your General Practitioner within the approved network before the patient is allowed to visit a specialist. A Memphis Medicare agent will be able to assist you to determine whether you need to take this extra step while seeking specialized care.
7. Am I also eligible for Medicaid?
Just because you are enrolled in Medicare does not mean you are ineligible for Medicaid. Your Medicare agent should work with you to determine your eligibility to be covered under both Medicare and Medicaid (also known as TennCare in Memphis and throughout Tennessee). Medicaid is primarily issued on a financial need basis, and it is not uncommon for a person to be covered under both plans.
8. Will my rates ever go up?
Standard Medicare premiums do tend to increase slightly over time. This potential increase, combined with potential increases from certain Medicare HMOs should be addressed by your Medicare agent before you enroll.
9. Do I need to buy Medicare Supplements?
Some Memphis residents may feel standard Medicare coverage is sufficient for their needs, while others may require the more extensive coverage that Medicare Supplements can provide. The number of doctor visits you make each year and how frequently you need treatment should help you decide if Medicare Supplements are right for you.
10. Do I need separate dental and vision insurance?
Standard Medicare does not cover dental and vision treatment. Should you require these services, a Medicare agent will advise you to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan which often includes these options.