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How Many Different Retirement Systems are There?

“Retirement seems quite simple in theory. However, those approaching retirement are often caught by surprise, by the complex nature of Medicare, Social Security or other retirement benefits.”

Most of us understand that after years of work we have paid into a system designed to help us when we retire, according to an article in newsok.com “The ABCs (And D’s) of Medicare and other retirement questions answered.”  However, the details of what you’re supposed to do and when can be a little overwhelming.

Both Social Security and Medicare are not programs that kick in automatically. They require recipients to take action. These systems may have started out simple. However, now they are complex and not so easy to navigate.

Medicare, Part A, also called original Medicare, is managed by Medicare and provides Medicare benefits and coverage for inpatient hospital care, inpatient stays in most skilled nursing facilities and hospice and home care services.

Part B is managed by Medicare and provides Medicare benefits for doctors and clinical lab services, outpatient and preventive care, home health care, screenings, surgical fees and supplies and physical and occupational therapy.

Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a different way of receiving Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans combine Part A and B together in one plan. They can also be combined with Part D prescription drug coverage, which is then considered a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plan.

Those plans are offered as a stand-alone plan known as Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or can be combined with a Medicare Advantage Plan, also called a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) Plan. Part D plans help cover the cost of prescriptions, helping to lower some prescription costs and protecting against higher costs in the future.

That’s just for starters. There are also deadlines that must be met, or certain costs become higher.

Getting up to speed on all these systems before you have to make decisions, is the best way to prepare yourself. You’ll want the coverage that works best for your situation. Bear in mind that if you go the cheaper route in some of your choices, you may end up paying more over the long run. Be open to getting help from good sources and be wary of sales pitches.

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