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Medicare Answers

What is a benefit period?

Dear Marci,

I have Original Medicare and am going to get inpatient surgery at a hospital soon. I want to understand some of the costs I may have. Can you explain what a benefit period is?

– Ramona (Watertown, SD)

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Can I Appeal a Part D Late Enrollment Penalty (Lep)?

Dear Marci,

I enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B a few years ago when I turned 65, but I only recently signed up for a Part D plan. Then I received a notice from the plan telling me that my monthly Part D premium payment will go up because I have a late enrollment penalty on top of my regular premium. Is there any way I can get this penalty to go away?

Carter (Tupelo, MS)

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AARP CEO Urges Older Americans to Be Health Care Consumers

The dynamic CEO of AARP, Jo Ann Jenkins, encourages everyone over 50 to become much more active in defining self-image, personal motivation, health care goals, and wealth/asset management. In Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age, she challenges the outdated beliefs that older people should slow down, take it easy, and become passive and accepting.

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What is an Explanation of Benefits?

An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is a notice that your Medicare Advantage Plan typically sends you after you receive health care services or items. EOBs are usually mailed once per month and may be available online. An EOB is not a bill; it is a summary of services or items you received.

Each plan formats its EOB differently, but in general your EOB should tell you:

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Does Medicare cover durable medical equipment (DME)?

Dear Marci,

My doctor recommended that I get a manual wheelchair to get around my home. Does Medicare cover wheelchairs? If so, what do I need to do so that they will cover it?

– Gabrielle (Bardstown, KY)

What is a benefit period?

Dear Marci,

I have Original Medicare and am going to get inpatient surgery at a hospital soon. I want to understand some of the costs I may have. Can you explain what a benefit period is?

– Ramona (Watertown, SD)

Can I Appeal a Part D Late Enrollment Penalty (Lep)?

Dear Marci,

I enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B a few years ago when I turned 65, but I only recently signed up for a Part D plan. Then I received a notice from the plan telling me that my monthly Part D premium payment will go up because I have a late enrollment penalty on top of my regular premium. Is there any way I can get this penalty to go away?

Carter (Tupelo, MS)

How does retiree insurance work with Medicare?

Dear Marci,

I have retiree insurance from my previous job, and I will be turning 65 in a few months. Do I have to sign up for Medicare even though I already have coverage?

– Jean (Yakima, WA)

How does Medicare work with my current employer insurance?

Dear Marci,

I will turn 65 soon and be eligible for Medicare. I am still working and receive health insurance from my employer. If I sign up for Medicare, how will it work with my current employer-based insurance?

Marco (Montclair, NJ)

AARP CEO Urges Older Americans to Be Health Care Consumers

The dynamic CEO of AARP, Jo Ann Jenkins, encourages everyone over 50 to become much more active in defining self-image, personal motivation, health care goals, and wealth/asset management. In Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age, she challenges the outdated beliefs that older people should slow down, take it easy, and become passive and accepting.

What is an Explanation of Benefits?

An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is a notice that your Medicare Advantage Plan typically sends you after you receive health care services or items. EOBs are usually mailed once per month and may be available online. An EOB is not a bill; it is a summary of services or items you received.

Each plan formats its EOB differently, but in general your EOB should tell you: