WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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Page 121 of 207

covered at no cost). You can buy additional insurance from private companies to reduce your exposure (explained later). Note: All the dol- lar figures in this story are for 2018 and are subject to change next year. If you or your spouse has paid into Medicare for the equivalent of 10 years out of payroll deduction, you will not have to pay a premium for Part A. You will pay a premium for Part B, which covers doctor visits and outpatient services. If you are single and earn under $85,000 or are married with a joint income under $170,000, your individual premium will be $134. People with higher incomes pay more: up to $428 for indi- viduals with incomes above $160,000. The premiums and income brackets are subject to annual adjustment. If your income declines to a lower bracket, your premium will be lowered. High-income surcharges also apply to premiums for Medicare drug plans, whether you get them through stand-alone coverage, known as Part D, or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan (another option, ex- plained later). Remember the penalties for late signups? Unless you have that em- ployee coverage, you pay a 10 percent penalty on your Part B premium for every year you delay. If you wait three years, you pay a 30 percent surcharge on your premium. And that surcharge will stick with you the rest of your life. You will also be penalized if you delay getting drug coverage. If you don't take any drugs, there's a plan that costs just $12.60 a month. Why should you be penalized for signing up later? After all, you may say, "I never go to the doctor, and I don't take any medication." Aside from the risk you take of an unforeseen health problem, con- sider how much more costly Medicare would be for everyone if people waited until they absolutely needed it. If you do miss the deadline to sign up for Part B, you can't sign up until the general enrollment period, which is Jan. 1 through March 31. Your coverage won't start until July 1 — and all the while the penalty clock keeps ticking. Act Now, Save Later Of all the Medicare dates, the most important to remember are those for fall open enrollment. As of its start, October 15, insurers have released their premiums, copays, and coverage packages for the follow- ing year. If you do miss the dead- line to sign up for Part B, you can't sign up until the general enrollment period, which is Jan. 1 through March 31. I M A G E S O U R C E ( I M S ) 120 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8 Baffled by Medicare?

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