Financial Friday: Understanding the ABC’s of Medicare

Medicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7
WAFF's Haley Baker reporting
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 12:36 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Medicare Open Enrollment for coverage beginning January 1, 2024, will run from October 15 to December 7, 2023. So if you recently turned 65 years old, then it’s almost time to enroll in Medicare.

WAFF spoke to Life Insurance Specialist at Redstone Federal, Roderick Green, to help break down the complexity of Medicare and to make sure you have the right coverage.

“It can be a very confusing process. But it’s really important to talk to a trusted advisor to determine which plan is best for you,” said Green.

Green explained Medicare is composed of two parts; Part A and Part B.

  • Part A- covers inpatient stays at the hospital. For example, if you go to the hospital for five days and the bill is $100,000, Medicare pays the bill, less the Part A deductible.
  • Part B- covers outpatient visits that are tied to your doctors. Part B covers 80% of the bill. It is important to remember that Part B charges are becoming more challenging because of the increase in outpatient services.

“Sadly, more people go bankrupt from medical charges than any other reason in the United States,” said Green. “It is essential that consumers evaluate the two prime options beyond Medicare, such as Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage Plans.”

Green also wants you to realize that doctors can also charge “Excess Charges” that are tied to Part B of Medicare. This allows a physician to charge the patient an additional 15% above the Medicare-assigned amount. So he really encourages you to do your homework.

Redstone Federal Credit Union is hosting an informational Medicare seminar on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at The Atrium. That is located at 220 Wynn Drive in Huntsville. This in-person seminar will be held from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm on the Wynn Drive campus.

For more information, you can visit Redstone Federal Credit Union’s website. You can also call Restone Federal Insurance Services at 256-722-8301.

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