We Are Living Healthy

Better Benefits with Optima Medicare

April 21, 2022 Alexis Perkins Season 1 Episode 153
We Are Living Healthy
Better Benefits with Optima Medicare
Show Notes Transcript

Alexis has the opportunity to chat today with Kathy McVey from Optima Health and learn more about what people can expect when they build health coverage expenses into their retirement budgets.

  • What options are available to help cover what Original Medicare does not?
  • At what age do you qualify for Medicare?
  • When can someone sign up for Medicare?
  • What are some other considerations people should think about when it comes to Medicare options?
  • Is there anything special to know about Medicare coverage when you travel? 
  • What’s important for couples to know about signing up for Medicare?
  • What resources are available for people who need help understanding and enrolling in Medicare?

For more information go to: optimamedicare.com/va
Phone Number: 1-833-351-0475
Facebook: @optimahealth
Instagram: @optimahealthplan

Watch the Interview on Facebook Here

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Alexis: Hello, and thank you for tuning in to this segment of we are living healthy when thinking about the future, most of us want to think about retirement and when planning for this, we all need to consider our health coverage and what it will look like here with us today from Optima health, we have Kathy McVey.

Who's going to inform us all about Medicare. Please welcome Kathy to the show. 

Kathy McVey: Hi, thank you so much for having. 

Alexis: Yes, Kathy, I'm really excited to talk to you because when thinking about retirement, that's the number one thing. How do we plan? How do we prepare? We talk about Medicare, but what exactly do we need to know when we're thinking about retirement?

Kathy McVey: So I think what we need to know is there are two parts of original Medicare that is Medicare, part a, that is your hospitalization. And it comes to most people at no cost because you've worked enough quarters in your lifetime. And then you have part B [00:01:00] part B. Are your doctor's visits, your x-rays, your labs, things like that, that go outside of the hospital.

And those are covered under your part B. However, you have a 20% of that that is not covered by part B. Part B also has a deductible that you must meet. So at that point, that's when people start looking to see what can I do to bring that gap in? What can I purchase to cover my. 

Alexis: Yes. And to qualify for this, does somebody have to be a certain age or 

Kathy McVey: so you have typically you're age 65 and older, or if you have certain disabilities, then you would qualify for Medicare.

Alexis: Yes. And you said that when they are 65, that's when they can sign up for it, because I think I've heard something where somebody could sign up for before that, is that accurate 

Kathy McVey: or no, that, that is accurate. So you can actually sign up, you can slide it up three months before your 65th birthday [00:02:00] to be effective on the first day of your birth month, you can sign up on your birth month and then you have three months after that in which you could sign up for Medicare.


Alexis: And I really liked talking about this because when people are planning for the future, you know, we have budgets, we have things like that. I understand that Medicare has a lot of great things to come with it, but what exactly can people do for the portions that it doesn't. 

Kathy McVey: That's a great question because that, that gap I spoke about a little bit ago is covered by most folks will look at Medicare advantage plans.

Medicare advantage plans will take your their plan in rapid around your original Medicare benefit. And that covers your deductibles. It will also give you extra benefits that Medicare does not provide. And typically they have no premiums. Optima health has a zero premium plan that we offer for instance, for Medicare advantage.

Alexis: Okay. [00:03:00] And wow. And what are the other benefits of this? Because most people, when you don't talk about it at all, for people who are younger, when they're first thinking about it, what are the basics of Medicare in general? So I know we're talking about some details, but I don't want to exclude those who know nothing.

Kathy McVey: Right. So you know, for, for the benefits that are included on the original Medicare, you have, as I spoke about the hospitalization, your doctor's visits labs, x-rays things like that. But when you purchase or look at a Medicare advantage plan, you're getting more benefits to that. You're getting things like groceries.

Protect perhaps. So I would say, look for things like a grocery card or over the counter benefits, there are companies that offer over the counter benefits. So those are things like your vitamins, your allergy medicine that are not a cost to you. You, you typically will get an alert. Every month or every quarter for those types of benefits, there are dental benefits included in Medicare advantage plans, vision benefits there's just emergency coverage that's [00:04:00] worldwide.

So there are quite a lot of benefits that you get with Medicare advantage that you are not getting with. Just your original Medicare that a and B. 

Alexis: And what should people consider when they're prepping for retirement and they're considering their budgets and things of that nature, how much did they set aside for this?

Which, what are the things they should be considering when preparing their budget? 

Kathy McVey: So I think what you consider is you want to look at part B. So if you went to medicare.gov, you would be able to figure out based on last year's taxes. What your part B premium will be. So your part part a again, comes to most without a premium because you've worked enough quarters in your life.

Part B is based on last year's taxes. So the government calculates a certain amount that you should pay. And let me give you an instance for this year, the part B the lowest level would pay $170 a month that comes out of your social security. [00:05:00] Automatically comes out of social security. You don't see that, but that could go up based on your tax return from the year prior.

Alexis: Okay. And for the younger folks out here who love to think about future and retirement and things like that as healthcare increases financially, are there any trends or is there any way that somebody can prepare for that retirement knowing that the cost of living goes up not knowing how health coverage is going to work?

What are your thoughts on that? 

Kathy McVey: So I think just putting, you know, if you have any ability in your employer group plans to maybe put funds aside for your health care, you, some people have health savings accounts that they can put monies aside and they can use those after they turn, you know, they can use them anytime, but it's monies that are saved up that they can use once they're 65 towards health care.

But I think that a lot of times what we find is. We have someone who's turning 65 and then maybe they have a spouse. Who's not yet 65 and they're still [00:06:00] working. So take advantage of that. So if you are a spouse or you're working with somebody an employer group that has coverage for you, stay on that employer group, as long as you can.

And then take advantage of a few turn 65, get your part. Because it doesn't cost you anything and stay on the employer plan. As long as you can into your spouse, turns 65 and then the two of you can move to a Medicare plan. Yes, that's an excellent 

Alexis: tip. I like that. And is there any type of group of people who do not qualify for Medicare?

So if they're listening and you're like, okay, that might not be me, or is it just universal if you've been working for X amount of 

Kathy McVey: years. So it's not a matter of how many years you worked. It's really turning age 65. The, the part where working enough quarters for part a is, is that you've put into Medicare.

So you don't have to pay for that part. A but the qualifications for getting Medicare is really based on being 65 or older, or having a certain disability [00:07:00] that may deem you eligible to get Medicare. 

Alexis: Okay. So this question as an entrepreneur, if I'm 65, I can qualify, even though I worked for myself. 

Kathy McVey: Yes, you can.

Alexis: Well, that is so much information. I'm pretty, you have a plethora of information that people need. What other resources are available for people, if they just want to understand how. 

Kathy McVey: Sure, thank you for asking. You can always go to medicare.gov and you can look at the comparisons there, or you could go to Optima health.com forward slash Medicare.

And I think you're showing that on the screen, we have plan advisors that you can call at 1-833-351-ZERO 4 7 5. And the plan advisors will be more than happy to help you. You don't have to be 65 to call them if you're thinking about. Retirement now, or if you are working in your coming close to retirement, please call them.

They will [00:08:00] give you all the information you need and then we'll make sure we call you back when it's time. 

Alexis: Yes. Thank you so much, Kathy, for joining us today, you've given us some excellent information and helped us plan for our future. Thank you so much. Thank 

Kathy McVey: you for having. 

Alexis: All right. Well, that's it for this segment of we are living healthy.

I really hope that you enjoyed all of the information. If you have not already, please subscribe to the show and follow us on Facebook at we are living healthy until next time. .