The first step that you’re going to do is sign up for your Medicare A and B card. Now, I’m not going to get into the details, because most of you are just signing up for Part B, but let’s just keep it simple. You’re going to sign up for your Medicare A and B card through the social security office. You do not sign up for Medicare through the Medicare office. It’s actually through the social security office, and that’s for everyone except for the railroad retirees. Now, if you’re taking an early distribution for your social security check, you will not have to sign up for Medicare Part A and B. They will automatically send the card with both on it to your house in the mail. But I would always call the social security office if you are taking a social security check and tell them, “I want to sign up for Medicare on my 65th birthday. Are you going to send it automatically?”
But let’s say that you’re not taking early distribution and you want to sign up for Medicare. You will also do this through the social security office, and there’s a few different ways to do this. You can call the social security local office, and I would do this three months prior to your 65th birthday, or three months prior to when you want to start Medicare, and I would say, “Can I make an appointment and come in and sit down?” They will sign you right up in their office and explain all of this to you. You can also do it online ssa.gov. Now, I’ll have a link in the description box that will walk you through ssa.gov and signing up for Medicare, but you can do this by going to that site. You can also, of course, call my office. It’s no charge to you.
It takes 15 minutes, most likely, for us to walk you through it, and then you can sign up that way. After you sign up, it will probably take around four to six weeks to get your card in the mail. This is why you want to do this three months prior to turning 65. When you get your Medicare Part A and B card in the mail, it will be red, white, and blue. It will have, of course, your name on it, your Medicare number, and your Medicare Part A and B start dates. After you get that card, the next thing that you’ll want to do is choose either a Medicare Advantage Plan, as you see the split, or a Medigap plan. Now, Medigap, med sup, gap plan, Medicare supplement, these are all terms for the same thing. Some people call it a gap plan. Some people call it Medicare supplement plans.
It’s the same. For this purpose, for the video, I’ll call it a gap plan. So let’s just say you look at the Medicare Advantage or you look at both of these and you choose the Medicare Advantage Plan. The Medicare Advantage Plans are HMOs and PPOs, for the most part. You will have your AARP, PPO plan, or HMO plan. You’ll have your Aetna PPO plan or HMO, Cigna, Humana, all these different companies in your area. If you choose, let’s just say you choose an AARP Medicare Advantage Plan PPO. 99% of the time, it will come with vision, dental, and hearing, a prescription drug plan, and hospital and doctor coverage. You will now be on this Medicare Advantage Plan and your package will be complete. Those are the only two steps you need to do.
Now, I know this is pretty easy. Most people would say, wow, they sent me a book and it was this thick. Well, for over 90% of the people, I want to say 99%, but over 90% of the people, all they have to do is sign up for Medicare A and B and get either a Medicare Advantage Plan or a gap plan and move towards those steps, and then they’re done. There are special circumstances, but you have to call my office. Individually, I’d have to talk to you to see what your circumstance is. So you sign up for A and B, you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan. You are done. But let’s say you go the other route. You look at the Advantage Plans. You say, oh, I’m not so sure. Then you look at the gap plans, and that’s the route you want to take.
You look at the Medigap plans, and these plans are letter plans, G, N, high deductible G. These plans, a G plan is a G plan no matter what company or what state you’re in, what company you get it from, or what state you’re in. So I’ll give you an example. An Aetna Plan G is the same benefits as an AARP Plan G. There is no difference. The only difference is the price. Some people will say, “Well, I don’t know. How do they charge different prices?” I always say, “Well, if you go to one grocery store chain and there’s a red apple, and you might buy it for $1, you go to another grocery store, it might be a $1.50. They’re just pricing it different. That’s it.” Same thing with the G plan, the N plans, all the Medigap plans, their benefits are the same, if they’re the same plan.
G and G is the same benefit. N and N is the same benefit. So whether you get an N plan from Aetna or AARP, it’s going to be the same plan, just different name of the company and different price. So let’s just say you choose a G plan. You’re not going to want to look at the names of the companies first. You’re going to want to look at the plans. I’ll get into the companies, but first, you’re going to want to decide, do I want a G plan, an N plan, an high deductible G? Me personally, I only show three plans, G, N, and high deductible G, and that’s it. There’s other plans. I don’t like them. Most agents don’t like them. I don’t even show people, because I don’t want to confuse them.
Out of all my clients, those are the only three plans that people are on, besides the F plan and plans, that went away, because I have clients in their 70s and 80s that I signed up years ago. But in today, 2023, or next year, G, N, high deductible G. So let’s say you choose a G plan. You like the benefits. Then I’m going to show you Aetna and AARP and Cigna and all these different companies and say, “These are the prices of the companies. Which company would you like?” Most people say, “Well, what do you think?” I always say, “Well, go with the cheapest company that you feel comfortable with.” And that’s how they choose that. So then after you choose a gap plan, you’re going to go and you’re going to look at Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Now, if you have a good agent, I always tell people, you should always have an agent, because it doesn’t cost you anything, and you’re not going to save money if you call the company directly.
That’s not the way it works. Agents are free to you. The companies pay them. So if you call and you say, “Hey, I want a G plan,” and you call Aetna and they say, “Well, it’s a $100.” I’m just giving an example. And then you call an agent and say, “Well, how much are you giving an Aetna G plan?” It’s going to be $100. We can’t put anything on top of the plan. So I would always contact an agent, whether it’s me or anyone else. But then you’re going to look at the Part D prescription drug plans. There is different plans in your area, most likely about 30 of them. You’re going to look at an Aetna plan, a AARP, same thing, and you’re going to say to yourself, well, I take two generics, or I take one brand and three generics, or whatever it is. You’re going to punch your drugs into this platform, the Part D prescription drug plan platform.
Once again, an agent will most likely do this for you. But you’ll look at the different plans and you’ll say to yourself, okay, I like this AARP plan. So let’s say you chose a Medigap Plan G from Aetna. You can mix and match, so you can choose an AARP drug plan or a Cigna drug plan. You don’t have to get an Aetna if you get a gap plan. With the Medicare Advantage, whatever company you choose, they’re going to have all of it connected. So if you choose AARP, you’re going to get an AARP drug plan. You can’t mix and match. Medigap, you can mix and match. You get on a drug plan. Then the third thing you do is look at vision, dental, and hearing, if you want. You don’t have to get a vision, dental, and hearing.
With the Part D, you will get fined if you don’t have this coverage, and I always recommend a gap plan or Medicare Advantage, because you need to cover the things that aren’t covered by Medicare A and B. Third thing you’re going to do is look at the vision, dental, and hearing, and then you’re done. Your package is complete. So let me go over it quickly, just to recap. First thing you’re going to do is sign up for Medicare A and B. You can do this through the social security office by going in there, your local office, go on ssa.gov and do it yourself, or call an agent. They will walk you through it and it will be free to sign you up. Then you will either go with a Medicare Advantage or a Medigap plan. Medicare Advantage, once again, I would always advise going through an agent, because they don’t put any money on top of what it is. The company pays them a commission, and you don’t lose anything. You’re not going to save anything by going to the company. And I always advise going with an agent.
Same thing with the Medigap plan. You’re not going to lose anything by going with an agent. It will be the same price if you call the company direct or have an agent explain all these things to you. Then you will pick a Part D prescription drug plan. Same thing. Once again, nothing comes out of your pocket if you use an agent, but you can do this yourself by going to medicare.gov. I have all of these videos for the explanation of all of these things in the description box. And then you choose a vision, dental, and hearing. So it’s really two steps or three, four steps, but they’re very fast. It’s not going to take long. I tell people, I used to go into people’s houses and walk out in 30 minutes with all of this stuff done. So it’s not that difficult.
Definitely call my office if you have any questions 1-844-552-7426