Medicare - all you need to know!

Tuesday - 10/23/2012, 12:34am EDT

For Your Benefit

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October 22, 2012 -- This week on For Your Benefit hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan are joined in studio by David Santana, health insurance specialist for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency.

Topics include:

  • when you are eligible for Medicare;
  • the premiums involved and the enrollment periods;
  • the penalties levied for late enrollment;
  • the four parts of Medicare and what they cover;
  • a discussion of how Medicare and FEHB can work together for you.

As to the last point, Santana says that the answer depends on your income, because the Medicare Part B premium is based on how much you make. "You need to look and see where you fall within that income category to see if you have to pay even more than the average individual on Medicare to make a decision as to whether or not this is advantageous," he tells Leins and Flanagan.

Medicare Part B premiums are higher for those making $85,000 and above (for individuals) or $170,000 or above (for families).

A good place to start making comparisons, Santana says, is online, at Medicare.gov.

You can access the Power Point presentation mentioned in the broadcast as well as many other guides to making decisions about Medicare at Santana's agency's website: www.cms.hhs.gov/nationalmedicaretrainingprogram.