Frequently Asked Questions about Medicare Planning, Retirement Planning and Medicare Products

When should I begin the Medicare enrollment process?

3 months prior to your birthday month in the year you turn 65.

How do I enroll in Medicare?

There are three ways to enroll in Medicare.

  1. Visit the Social Security website
  2. Call Social Security
  3. Schedule an appointment at the Social Security office in your hometown

But don't stop there. Once you have enrolled through Social Security for original Medicare, call Richard L. Miller for further guidance. 

If I'm still working, do I need to enroll in Medicare?

It depends, but in general if you are covered by an employer plan based on your or your spouse's active employment, you do not have to enroll. However, there are certain circumstances when it might make sense to have employer coverage AND enroll in Medicare.

Is there a penalty for late or non-enrollment?

Yes, there may be a penalty and/or waiting period for late enrollment.

What is the difference between Medicare parts A, B, C, and D?

Part A is hospital coverage, part B is medical/doctor coverage, part C is a private medicare plan that pays for the same services that parts A and B provide, and part D is prescription coverage. Parts A and B are also known as original Medicare.

What is the difference between a supplement and an advantage plan?

Both types of plans pay for Medicare approved services, but in different ways. Generally, supplements have higher premiums, but less out-of-pocket costs. Advantage plans may have lower premiums, but more out-of-pocket costs. See the sections of the website regarding supplements and advantage plans for greater detail.

Are dental and vision covered by Medicare?

Routine services like preventive dental & vision are typically not covered by Medicare, but some private plans offer these and other additional benefits.

How about prescriptions?

Medicare does not cover oral prescriptions. Prescriptions coverage is usually provided by private plans that are either stand-alone, with or without a supplement, or part of an advantage plan. Medicare may pay for some injectable drugs in limited circumstances such as when a drug cannot be self-administered.

Can I have more than one supplement or both an advantage plan and a supplement?

Short answer? No! It is against regulations to have both a supplement and an advantage plan, and it wouldn't make sense anyway because only one plan will pay for services.

How much does Medicare cost?

Part A is premium free for most enrollee's provided they or their spouse worked at least 10 years or 40 quarters in their lifetime, however for the few that don't have enough work history the premium is $240-$437 (2019). The part B premium is $135.50 (2019) for most enrollees. You may pay less based on low income thresholds or more (means-testing) for higher incomes. Medicare parts C and D are private plans therefore the premium depends on the specific plan. Part D plans are also subject to both lower and higher income tests.