Recently I 'became of age' and am now eligible for Medicare benefits. Nevada also provides a secondary carrier "Senior Dimensions"....my premiums for both of these are less than $100 a month - which is REALLY nice since I was paying almost $400 per month previously. We were unaware until this year that Nevada even offered a 'no charge' supplement to Medicare....it's true, it's FREE (or at least no more than what you are normally charged for Medicare, which is an automatic deduction from your Social Security check). The premium that is paid through your Social Security check to pay the Medicare premium is transferred to the secondary carrier (has to be approved carrier).
My husband has been eligible for Senior Dimensions for EIGHT years and we were unaware that this was even an option. Because he 'missed' the enrollment period (for those already over 65) he is not eligible to be covered by this Senior Dimensions until January. The enrollment period is November and December of each year. IF you turn 65 during the year you can sign up 3 months prior to your birthday, and the insurance goes into effect the first day of the month of your birthday (so does Medicare). Medicare DOES NOT need to be signed up for, you receive your Medicare card approximately three months before your birthday, at least I did. If you do not receive it please contact Medicare.
Prescriptions are also covered, and I refilled all my prescriptions this month @ $3 per prescription (a savings of $50+ per prescription).....I'm now saving about $250 just for these! Eyes are also covered and I've got an eye doctor appointment this afternoon! $20 co-pay for the exam, plus a co-pay on the glasses (will let you know that amount later).
We have found that since my husband has been on Medicare that the premiums go up yearly....but for next year they will NOT be going up. Amazing since everything else is going up at such a quick rate! Here is the article that was printed recently regarding this:
"Medicare premiums will hold steady in 2009 for the vast majority of the 44 million U.S. beneficiaries, the first time since 2000 that rates haven't gone up.
Monthly premiums for about 95 percent of elderly and disabled Medicare recipients will be $96.40 next year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported Friday (*Sept. 20, 2008).
The announcement may seem surprising, given the fact that medical costs continue to outpace inflation. But Medicare officials said many unusual factors contributed to what will be just the sixth year without a premium increase since Medicare began in 1965.
Premiums have risen in recent years - more than 17 percent in 2005 - in part because Medicare had to build up reserves to offset changes made by Congress to adjust physician payments. Those reserves finally have reached adequate levels.
"It was painful to catch up, but now we have one year in which we can get rid of the catch-up amount and use that to offset the premium increases that otherwise would have happened," said Richard Foster, Medicare's chief actuary, estimating that next year's increases would have been about 8.5 percent.
In addition, the government also discovered an accounting error that benefits next year's rates.
From 2005 to 2007, about $9.3 billion in hospice payments mistakenly had been taken out of the portion of Medicare that beneficiaries pay premiums for, which includes outpatient doctor visits, home health services, physician-administered drugs and medical equipment. Those payments should have come out of Medicare's Part A hospital fund and have been repaid this year to the fund supported by premiums, known as Part B."