Senior Citizen's Guide to Pittsburgh Fall/Winter Edition 2015-16 - page 22

You also need to check with your employer to confirm
that the prescription benefits are considered “creditable
coverage”. You will be charged a penalty if you later
enroll and your plan was not creditable or if you go 63
days without creditable coverage.
The decision to delay enrolling has additional
implications and it is best to discuss these with a
knowledgeable expert or benefit broker. This will
ensure you are making the right decision for your
specific situation.
You can enroll for both Parts A & B by contacting your
local social security office. It is best to call in advance
and secure an appointment to alleviate wait time.
If you prefer, you can sign up online at www.
socialsecurity.gov. The information you enter online
must match the social security records exactly. For
example, if you use a middle initial but social security
has it spelled in full, the system will not let you register.
Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan takes a little
planning. Medicare Advantage plans that include
prescription drug coverage are referred to as Part D. Not
all plans include prescription benefits.
There is no single “best” plan. What is good for you
may not be beneficial to your neighbor. Here area few
guidelines to consider while deciding on the best option
for you.
• Consider the premium (if any; some plans are
zero premium), realizing this amount will be in
addition to the Part B premium.
• Check on the out of pocket costs for the big-
ticket events like an inpatient stay. Usually lower
premium plans have higher out of pocket costs.
Can you afford to cover the cost of a hospital stay?
• Confirm that the plan’s network of physicians and
hospitals includes the ones you want to use.
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