Medicare 101


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When I teach a client or a class, I like to use the analogy that Medicare is like a Christmas tree. It’s a big beautiful thing, covered in “shiny stuff”. The newly eligible Medicare beneficiary and the toddler have the same reaction to the first view of these items.

If you back a toddler up to the fully decorated Christmas tree (because they are usually in the car seat or the walker) and spin them around to see the tree for the first time, what is their reaction? They gasp for air, blink their eyes; flail their arms and legs, as they are overcome by the sensory overload. Sound familiar? (Come on that’s funny!)

The problem is that a toddler eventually learns that the Christmas tree is just a tree; mom and dad hang all the “shiny stuff” on it. The Medicare beneficiary does not have the same luxury. I have met people who have been on Medicare for years and still do not know what it is or what their options are.

For many, it becomes so frustrating that they go with a popular name, buy in and forget it. Medicare, like the Christmas tree has a very basic structure that is easy to understand if someone takes the time to teach the beneficiary.

It takes a very short investment of your time to let an IIAI agent teach you what Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B are (original Medicare); and what your options are with Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans), Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plans), and Medicare Supplements. (Also known as Medigap Insurance)