Medicare can be confusing. Whether you are turning 65, about to retire or already enrolled in Medicare, understanding your options will make selecting the best Medicare plan for you easier. Scripps physicians and hospitals are available through a variety of Medicare Advantage plans as well as through supplemental insurance. Now is the time to make sure you keep your Scripps doctor or learn how to make the switch to Scripps.
When you choose a Medicare plan that includes Scripps, you’ll have access to specialty care from expert physicians in more than 100 specialties, including cardiology, cancer, joint care, orthopedics, and many more. Our new specialty centers offer advanced heart care and cancer treatment, including proton therapy.
Plus, you can select from hundreds of primary care physicians conveniently located throughout San Diego County and five Scripps hospital campuses from North County to South Bay. Many of our primary care providers offer early morning, evening and weekend hours. If you need a doctor after office hours, our urgent care centers and emergency rooms are open seven days a week to ensure you receive the best possible medical care right away.
If you’re confused about your Medicare options, you’re not alone. Rest assured that Scripps can help with the answers — our goal is to help you understand your options and make the decisions that are right for you.
Your first step is to choose your coverage options. There are two ways to access Medicare: through original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.
Original Medicare is made up of two parts:
- Part A provides your insurance for hospital, skilled and home health care
- Part B provides medical insurance for outpatient services such as doctor visits and check-ups
Everyone can receive Part A once they turn 65, regardless of whether you’re employed. To enroll, you need to sign up during the 7-month time period that begins three months before you turn 65, which includes the month you turn 65 and continues for three months afterward.
If you’re still working at age 65 and covered by your employer’s health insurance, in most cases you don’t need to sign up for Part B yet. Once you stop working, you’ll have a special enrollment period of eight months after your employment ends in which to sign up for Part B.
Medicare Advantage plans are insurance plans that combine the benefits of Part A and B. These plans often include prescription drug coverage, and other benefits such as vision, at an additional cost.
Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover prescription medications. For prescription drug coverage, you can enroll in a separate Part D plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans already offer prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of their benefits package.
Supplemental Medigap coverage is an alternative to Medicare Advantage plans, allowing you to customize your health plan coverage. These plans help “fill the gap” by partially or fully covering expenses that original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as co-payments.
Supplemental plans are only available to purchase if you are enrolled in Original Medicare. You cannot purchase Medicare supplemental insurance if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.
Costs vary with each portion of your supplemental plan, so understanding each part of your coverage is important.
Choosing the right Medicare coverage can feel overwhelming, but there are a variety of resources to help you. Find the Medicare resources you need.