Q: Which services aren't covered by Medicare?
A: Original Medicare (Parts A and B) won’t cover copays, coinsurance or deductibles, nor will it cover medical care when you travel outside the United States. Some services, such as long-term care, acupuncture and cosmetic surgery, also aren’t covered. Some of these services are likely to be covered if you enroll in a Part C plan. Long-term care, however, is not among them.
As an alternative to Part C, you may supplement Original Medicare with Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap. Plans providing such coverage follow strict federal and state standards, and costs vary by policy and insurer. To buy a Medigap policy, you must be enrolled in both Parts A and B. To guarantee availability, you must sign up within six months of enrolling in Part B.
Q: Where can I learn more?
A: The official Medicare site, medicare.gov, offers detailed information on signing up; the specifics of Parts A, B, C and D; costs associated with Medicare; penalties for missing enrollment; and other important issues. Go to the site’s “Find health & drugs plans” section to sort through and compare the plans available in your region.
Your financial advisor can help you gain a deeper understanding of how health-care costs could affect your need for income in retirement. Together you can discuss ways to incorporate future health-care costs into your planning.