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Plan J includes the core benefits, plus the following:

  • coverage for daily skilled nursing facility care coinsurance

  • Part A deductible

  • Part B deductible

  • 100 percent of the excess charges for Part B

  • coverage for medically necessary emergency care in a foreign country

  • in-home recovery

  • 50 percent of the cost of prescription drugs—a $250 annual

deductible and maximum annual benefit of $3000 apply

  • preventive medical care

Each Medigap plan has its advantages and drawbacks. Which plan is right for you is determined by your individual situation. Don’t just automatically assume that since Plan J offers the most coverage it’s the best one for you. You may wind up paying for much more than you’ll ever need. For instance, if you don’t do much (or any) traveling in a foreign country, you won’t need a plan that covers emergency care while traveling abroad. Although, with the way the standardized plans are set up, the only plans that don’t offer emergency care in a foreign country are Plans A and B. As with other forms of insurance, cost is always a consideration, but don’t let that dictate which plan you choose. Weigh your needs, expectations, and plans against each Medi- gap plan to make sure that you are choosing the best one for you.

There are also Medicare SELECT policies, which are Medigap policies that require you to use certain approved hospitals and physi- cians. These SELECT policies are generally less expensive than other Medigap policies.

Enrollment in Medicare Enrolling in Medicare is very simple, but determining when the best time is to sign up for you may be more difficult. If you are already receiving social security or railroad benefits, your Medicare enroll- ment is automatic. The Social Security Administration will contact you a few months prior to your 65th birthday to give you the infor- mation you need. Although enrollment is automatic, you have the option of turning down Part B because of the premium. You can determine if you have both Parts A and B, or one or the other by look-

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