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Caveat Emptor: Long-Term Care Policies

Is Medicare A Mystery? Test Your Knowledge

Talk about a historic first: 2008 marked the year the oldest of baby boomers turned age 62 and became eligible to claim Social Security benefits. Yet despite their reputation as the best-educated generation in U.S. history, a recent survey suggests that most boomers are woefully uninformed about their retirement health insurance picture, particularly with regard to Medicare eligibility.

According to the survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, only 36% of baby boomers knew the age at which they would become eligible for Medicare benefits. And while 84% of boomers said access to health insurance was an important consideration in choosing when to retire, only 43% cited Medicare eligibility as important. Given that most retirees depend on Medicare to pick up much of their health-care tab, the implied gap in understanding could signal trouble ahead for many boomers.

Also two-thirds of those who responded weren’t familiar with options such as Medicare Advantage, a managed care program that offers lower costs and broader coverage in return for restrictions on the choice of doctors and hospitals. And while most boomers didn’t know much about the Medicare system, more than eight in 10 expressed concern about its long-term financial viability.

How savvy are you about Medicare? Use this quiz to test your knowledge.

1) Medicare is:
a) The largest health insurance program in the nation 
b) Partly funded by the federal government 
c) Both of the above 
d) Neither of the above

2) You are eligible to receive Medicare coverage at: 
a) Age 59½ 
b) Age 62 
c) Age 65 
d) Age 67

3) You may qualify at a younger age if: 
a) You pay extra. 
b) You are disabled or suffer from end-stage renal disease. 
c) Your household income is below the poverty level. 
d) None of the above

4) Medicare now includes how many coverage options? 
a) Two 
b) Four 
c) Five
d) Six

5) The newest addition to Medicare coverage is: 
a) Preventive care 
b) Fitness programs 
c) Prescription drugs
d) None of the above

6) Which of the following is true? 
a) No Medicare recipients pay premiums. 
b) Some Medicare recipients pay premiums. 
c) No Medicare recipients pay deductibles.
d) No Medicare recipients pay coinsurance charges.

7) Which of the following is false? 
a) Medicare will pay for long-term health-care services. 
b) You have to apply for Medicare coverage. 
c) You can purchase supplemental insurance. 
d) Health discount cards are not insurance products.

If you are confused about your Medicare or long-term-care coverage, please give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.

        Answers: 1-c; 2-c; 3-b; 4-b; 5-c; 6-b; 7-a.

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This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Bleeck Financial Management, Inc. and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

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