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Top 10 Questions to Ask Kentucky Medicare Agents

1. How much will my monthly premium be?
 Your monthly premium will depend on how much coverage you wish to have.  If you only require hospitalization coverage, or Part A, you won’t be responsible for a monthly premium. Any additional coverage will require extra monthly premiums.  Your Medicare agent will work with you to determine how much extra coverage you may need based on your individual health status.

2. Am I also eligible for Medicaid?
Many current Medicare patients are not aware that they may also be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits as well. A Medicare agent should be able to work with you to determine if you qualify for coverage under both.

3. What if I become ill and I’m away from my family doctor/hospital?
Standard Medicare provides coverage anywhere in the United States, so you can be treated at any hospital without additional fees or penalties. Medicare Advantage and certain HMOs, however, do require for you to be treated at specific hospitals that are considered “in-network.” A Medicare agent can help you determine which plan is best for you and your lifestyle, as well as which hospitals and doctors are in the network.

4. Which doctors and hospitals are included in my network?
 Generally, residents of large cities in Kentucky like Louisville and Lexington will have access to a greater variety of facilities than those who live in rural areas. It is important to discuss this with your Medicare provider before you need to seek treatment, as receiving treatment at hospitals that are out of the network can be costly.

5. Do I need to buy Medicare Supplements?
Medicare Supplements, also known as Medigap policies, serve a distinct purpose in healthcare, and that is to fill in the holes that may be present in standard Medicare coverage. Medigap can be very cost-effective for patients who travel away from their home doctor, as it allows them to see visit any hospital or doctor to receive care. It is also a good option for patients who require frequent check-ups and treatment for conditions like diabetes, arthritis and cancer.

6. Will my rates go up?
Like anything else with a price tag, Medicare costs do increase over time. It is important to plan ahead for inevitable price increases in order to properly budget your monthly expenses. Your Medicare agent can discuss this with you and alert you to any potential premium increases.

7. Do I also need to purchase dental and vision insurance? 
Dental and vision care is not provided by standard Medicare. However, many Medicare Advantage programs do provide this coverage. If you require either dental or vision care, it is important to consult with your Medicare agent to find out if you should purchase separate insurance or purchase a Medicare Advantage plan that includes both.

8. Can I still get Medicare coverage if I already have health insurance?
Yes. In fact, if you are eligible for Medicare you should always apply for coverage even if you already have a private health insurance plan. Medicare will often help pay for treatments that may not be entirely covered by your current health insurance plan. A Medicare agent will help you pick the right coverage that will complement your health insurance plan.

9. How much will my prescriptions cost?
While Medicare Part B helps pay for a large percentage of prescription medications, there are still many drugs that are not included in its coverage policy. It is important to ask your Medicare agent or provider if the drugs you are currently taking are covered under Part B or if you will have to pay for them out of pocket.

10. Will I need a referral to see a specialist?
Many Medicare plans require that a patient see a General Practitioner within the approved network before the patient is allowed to visit a specialist. A Medicare agent will be able to assist you to determine whether you need to take this extra step while seeking specialized care.

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