Episode 43: Digging Deeper Into Medicare, and Donut Holes

Last week, Devin and John talked about the basics of Medicare.  But Medicare is definitely not simple, so there’s a lot left to discuss.

First, a little review about the costs of Medicare Part B:  If you’re signing up this year, the premium is probably $134 per month.  But your actual Medicare premium may be higher if you have a higher income, or it may be lower due to the “hold harmless” provision that limits the amount your Medicare premium can increase.

Then, Devin and John talked about Medicare Part D, the prescription drug coverage.  It’s a relatively recent program, started in 2006.  You get to select your own Medicare Part D provider, or you can use a Medicare Advantage plan that rolls the prescription coverage into your Medicare Advantage plan.  It’s important to understand how Medicare Part D work – it can be a little tricky.

Highlights include:

What is the donut hole in prescription drug coverage?

Things to consider when selecting a Medicare Part D plan

How the “extra help” program can pay for your prescription drugs

When you need approvals for care, and how the approval process works

How and when to appeal a denial

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Devin and John’s free ebook:  www.bigpictureretirement.net/steps

Last week’s episode What Medicare Covers, and What It is Going to Cost

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Do you have a question for a future Listener Questions episode?  Send it in to questions@bigpictureretirement.net.  Devin and John can’t answer every question they receive, but they