What everyone should know about Medicare

BAY RIDGE — With Medicare open enrollment taking place now through Dec. 7, Louis Peters of AMP Insurance Brokerage delivered a well-timed and informative talk about what everyone should know about the Medicare program at the Colonial Club meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7.

Peters serves on the board of numerous community groups and is chair of the Bay Ridge Center Advisory Board. The Merchants of Third Avenue also recently recognized him as a civic honoree.

At the meeting, Peters discussed the basic facts about Medicare and the benefits of United Healthcare Medicare plans and how seniors may best utilize them. He said that this was the time for open enrollment, which began on Oct. 15 and lasts until Dec. 7, and explained how the Medicare plan works.

Peters’ AMP Brokerage helps people navigate through the intricacies of Medicare, encouraging everyone to make sure they’ve enrolled in the program three months prior to turning 65. “We are always there to help you,” he told the members before explaining the differences between basic Medicare and Medicare Advantage programs.

“Medicare Part A is free and provided by the federal government,” Peters explained. “It helps pay for hospital stays and inpatient care. Part B, though, which helps pay for doctor visits and outpatient care, depends on your income. If your income is less than $85,000, you pay about $135 a month. If it’s higher, you will be surcharged, depending on what your income is.”

He further explained that Part C pertains to Medicare Advantage Plans and is offered by private companies. It combines Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) in one. Medicare Advantage benefits vary by plan. Part C plans may help pay for hospital stays, for some medical care like doctor visits, and for preventive services including flu shots, routine vision coverage, routine hearing exam and hearing aid coverage, limiting your out-of-pocket costs.

 Part D is also offered by private companies and covers prescription drugs.

“The Medicare Part D coverage gap (informally known as the Medicare donut hole) is a period of consumer payment for prescription medication costs which lies between the initial coverage limit and the catastrophic-coverage threshold,” said Peters.

Peters encouraged everyone to have Medicare as their primary. “It really helps you get to see more doctors all over the country because Medicare is taken all over the country,” he added.

The Colonial Club of Bay Ridge has a long history of presenting insightful and informative talks about community events and topics that pertain to its membership. The club is composed of civic leaders and professionals who play an active role in their neighborhood. The meetings also serve to inform members of upcoming neighborhood events.  

The club’s board of directors is comprised of President Gary Campbell, Vice-President Marcello Sarrica, Treasurer Patricia Killen and Secretary Dr. Roy Olsen.

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