There are literally thousands of combinations of Medicare coverage you can choose from. If you’re the DIY sort, the most objective and complete place to start your research is with the Medicare and You Handbook.
The good news is, though, that there are ways to pare down the information about Medicare. One of the best and most efficient ways to figure out determine what the right route for you to take when enrolling in – or changing – your Medicare benefits is to get an updated copy of the 2019 Medicare and You Handbook.
The Medicare and You Handbook is the official U.S. Government Medicare Handbook, and it includes a long list of topics that are related to Medicare’s coverage, benefit options, Medicare enrollment periods and deadline dates, and contact details for obtaining additional assistance. This guide also offers new and updated information each for year, such as what you can expect with your new Medicare ID card for 2019.
In the 2019 Medicare and You book, you will find basic Medicare information, such as what each part of Medicare covers, and specific dates for both Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) and Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans.
Your Medicare options are outlined clearly in the handbook so that you can compare and contrast what is and isn’t provided via each alternative. Likewise, doctor and hospital choices are provided, also based on which Medicare plan option you choose.
Other information in the 2019 Medicare and You Handbook includes the following:
As with any other good resource, the 2019 Medicare and You Handbook offers a long list of options and sources for where you can find additional details – either via phone, in person, and / or online.
At the back of the Medicare & You Handbook, you will also find a list of Medicare related words and definitions. Having a good understanding of these can make choosing your benefits and enrolling in your Medicare coverage much easier.
There are several ways to get your free copy of the 2019 Medicare and You Handbook. One way is to visit or contact your local Social Security office and request this publication. You can also find a downloadable (and printable) version of this helpful publication online by going to: https://www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/10050-Medicare-and-You.pdf.
There are a number of other helpful Medicare publications that you will also find on Medicare’s website, such as Welcome to Medicare, Guide to Choosing a Hospital, Medicare Coverage of Skilled Nursing Facility Care, and many more. To view a list of the most popular Medicare publications, you can visit: https://www.medicare.gov/pub/popular-medicare-publications.
In addition, there is an audio version of the Medicare and You 2019 Handbook. This version of the handbook can be downloaded as an MP3 audio file, or you can listen directly via the Medicare website. You can find the audio version of Medicare and You 2019 by going to: https://www.medicare.gov/pub/medicare-you-handbook.
The folks at the local Social Security office usually have a good idea how to sign up for Original Medicare, but it’s left largely up to you whether or not you buy a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, or stay with Original Medicare A and B and purchase a Medicare Part D card. One way you can get additional help is to find a local independent insurance agent who specializes in the different types of Medicare coverage. The other way of course, is to DIY by studying and absorbing all you can in the Medicare and you 2019 Handbook.
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Author Bio: Ben started Prepare for Medicare in 2014 to help people help people get objective answers to questions about Medicare. He’s held leadership roles at numerous Fortune 500 Medicare health insurers in product development, sales, marketing and strategy for over 20 years.