Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most common Medicare questions.

If you cannot find the answer to your questions here, please get in touch with us at 1.866.502.7736.

What company do you work for?

Senior Medicare Advisors is a truly independent Medicare Insurance agency. We represent only the top-rated insurance carriers that offer Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage insurance plans. We will first find out what is most important to you about your health insurance coverage, then impartially shop to find you the best price for your Medicare Supplement insurance.   

Why Senior Medicare Advisors?

It costs you absolutely nothing for the services of a Medicare Insurance Broker but the benefit to you is huge.  Every year, thousands of Medicare beneficiaries feel frustrated after trying to read the Medicare and You Handbook they mail out.  At Senior Medicare Advisors, we will help make Medicare simple and easier to understand.   Find out why so many Baby Boomers choose our agency as their one-stop Medicare insurance Shop! 

What is Part A and Part B of Medicare?

Part A is Hospital insurance. This helps pay for inpatient hospital care, some skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care.  The 2017 Part A deductible for Medicare is $1,316 
Part B is Medical insurance. This helps pay for doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care, and some other medical services that Part A doesn’t cover. Part B also helps pay for such covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.   The 2017 Part B deductible for Medicare is $183 plus 20% co-insurance after that.  

How do I enroll in Medicare?

You’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65 if you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, or when you apply for Social Security benefits at age 65. In either case, the Social Security Administration will notify you that you’re being enrolled.  
Although there’s no cost to enroll in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), you’ll pay a premium to enroll in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). If you’ve been automatically enrolled in Part B, you’ll be notified that you have a certain amount of time after your enrollment date to decline coverage. Even if you decide not to enroll in Medicare Part B during the initial enrollment period, you can enroll later during the annual general enrollment period that runs from January 1 to March 31 each year. However, you may pay a slightly higher premium as a result.  If you decide to postpone applying for Social Security past your 65th birthday, you can still enroll in Medicare when you turn 65. The Social Security Administration suggests that you call (800) 772-1213 three months before you turn 65 to discuss your options. You can apply by visiting your local Social Security office. If you are unable to visit your local office, you may be able to enroll over the phone.  

Do I have to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B to get supplemental insurance?

Yes, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and B to be enrolled in either a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan.  

What is Medicare Advantage (Part C)?

Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. Instead of having Medicare benefits administered through the government-run program, beneficiaries can choose to get their coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan, available through private insurance companies that contract with Medicare.

To be eligible for Medicare Part C, you must:

  • Have Medicare Part A and Part B.
  • Live in the service area of the Medicare Advantage plan you’re considering.
  • Not have end-stage renal disease (with some exceptions).


By law, all Medicare Advantage plans must provide at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare, Part A and Part B(except for hospice care, which Part A still covers). However, some plans may also cover additional benefits, such as prescription drugs, hearing, routine vision and dental, or health wellness programs.

Unlike Original Medicare, if you want prescription drug benefits (Medicare Part D), you shouldn’t enroll in a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Instead, you can get this benefit through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. Not every Medicare Advantage plan includes prescription drug coverage, so always double-check with the specific plan you’re considering.

What is Medicare Part D or the Drug Card?

Starting January 1, 2006, new Medicare Part D drug coverage was introduced to all Medicare recipients. All Medicare recipients can get this coverage that can help lower drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. Medicare Part D drug coverage is a Medicare program run through private insurance companies.  
You choose the drug plan and pay a monthly premium. Like Medicare part B insurance, if you decide not to enroll in a drug plan when you are first eligible, you will pay a penalty if you choose to join later.  
If you delay taking and don’t take Medicare part D when you are initially eligible your premium cost will go up at least 1% per month for every month that you wait to join. You will have to pay this penalty as long as you have Medicare drug coverage. If you join by December 7th in any year your coverage will begin January 1 of the next year.  

What is a Medicare Supplement plan?

A Medicare supplement insurance plan or “Medigap” policy is a health insurance policy sold by private insurance companies. These Medicare supplement plans must follow federal and state laws. These laws protect you. The front of the Medicare supplement insurance plan material must clearly identify it as a “Medicare supplement insurance” plan.  
You might want to consider buying a Medicare Supplement plan to cover the above described gaps in Original Medicare coverage. Some Medicare supplemental plans also cover benefits that the Original Medicare Plan doesn’t cover, like emergency health care while traveling outside the United States, At Home Recovery Services, and Preventive services that might not otherwise be covered by Medicare. A Medicare Supplement insurance plan may help you save on out of pocket costs. If you buy a Medicare supplemental insurance plan, you will pay a monthly premium to the private Medicare supplement insurance company that sells you the policy. Medicare supplement plans do not have an open enrollment period. This allows you to switch another Medicare supplement plan at any point throughout the year as long as you qualify medically.  

What’s the Difference between a Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plan?

Medicare Insurance comes in two forms.  Both Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Supplement plans can protect you from the holes in Medicare, but that is about all these different types of Medicare plans have in common. 

Why do I need additional Medicare coverage?

You may need to supplement Medicare Coverage for one or more of the following reasons:  
• Medicare was never designed to pay all the health care costs of Medicare beneficiaries. 
• Medicare coverage has many gaps, a Medicare supplement policy or a Medicare Advantage Plan will help cover these gaps. 
• Medicare deductibles increase every year.  

How do I get a quote for a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Coverage?

Fill out or quote form on our website or  for even faster service call us toll free at 1-866-502-7736 We can help you understand how the various plans we offer work, and help you select from many different insurance companies.   

When is Medicare’s Initial Enrollment Period?

The Initial Enrollment Period begins 3 months before the month a beneficiary turns 65 and ends 3 months after the month the beneficiary turns 65. If beneficiaries wait until they are 65 or sign up during the last 3 months of the Initial Enrollment Period, their Medicare Part B start date will be delayed. 

What are “open enrollment” and “guaranteed issue” periods in Medicare?

Open enrollment: allows the applicant to be guaranteed a Medicare supplement insurance plan regardless of their current or past health history. Otherwise, the applicant must meet medical underwriting standards to qualify if required by the insurance company.  
Guaranteed issue rights: (also called “Medigap protections”) are rights you have in certain situations when insurance companies are required by law to offer you certain Medigap policies even if you have health problems and must cover any pre-existing conditions. In these situations, an insurance company must do the following:  
• Sell you a Medigap policy 
• Cover all your pre-existing health conditions 

What are the different situations that one can be in to get “guaranteed issue” for Medicare Supplement?

Losing Medicare Advantage coverage  
If you’re currently in a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan, you can still qualify for Medigap if (1) your insurance provider decides to stop offering Medicare policies, or (2) your plan stops providing care or services in your area, or (3) you are moving out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s coverage area. However, you can only get Medigap in such situations IF you transfer to an “original” Medicare plan (Parts A and B) — not into a new Medicare Advantage program.  
Losing other supplement program  
Many seniors are currently in a Medicare Parts A and B plan, but receive additional coverage from a union health plan or employer-provided group health plan. Those plans act much like Medigap and pay many of the expenses that are not covered by Medicare. If those other plans should end, you can obtain a Medigap policy even outside the mandated Medigap open enrollment period.  
Losing Medicare Select  
A Medicare Select policy is a type of Medigap option that can offer lower Medigap premiums and fees — as long as you use the plan’s network of hospitals and physicians. If you move out of your Medicare Select plan’s coverage area, you can replace Medicare Select with a standard Medigap plan offered in your state.  
End of trial period  
Medicare offers seniors the right to certain “trial’ periods of Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, which are offered by private health insurance providers. For example, if a 65-year-old senior citizen opts for a Medicare Advantage plan instead of an Original Medicare Part A and B program, the first year may be considered a trial period. They can switch to an Original Medicare (Parts A and B) plan any time that first year—and obtain a Medigap plan as well. Similarly, if you drop your Medigap plan to join a Medicare Advantage program (for the very first time), you have one year to switch back to the original Medicare (Parts A and B) program—with Medigap 
Failure of Medigap provider  
If your Medigap provider goes bankrupt or hasn’t followed the rules (or misled you), you may switch to a different Medigap plan offered in your state. 

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