Medicare FAQ

Answers to your Medicare questions

by Amy De Vore+ on Aug 13, 2014 | 3 Comments

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Here are some Medicare frequently asked questions.

1) What is the Difference Between Medicare and Original Medicare?

Medicare is the program in which you can either enroll in Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage for your Part A and Part B coverage. The term “Medicare” is used in place of Original Medicare, whereas one would not say “Medicare” to talk about Medicare Advantage.

2) Does Medicare Cover Rx?

Original Medicare covers very limited prescription drugs. For full coverage you’ll want to look into Medicare Part D, or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan with Rx.

3) What are the Medicare Late Penalties?

There are three separate penalties for Medicare:

  • Part A Penalty: 10% of premium for twice the number of years you were eligible but didn’t enroll
  • Part B Penalty: 10% for each full twelve month period you were eligible but didn’t enroll, and this can last through your lifetime. An example if you went 48 months before enrolling, you would owe 40% extra each month
  • Part D Penalty: 1% for each MONTH you didn’t enroll but were eligible. This like Part B’s penalty lasts throughout your lifetime.

4) What’s the Difference Between Medigap and Medicare Supplement?

Medicare Supplement is the formal name of Medigap. They both mean exactly the same thing.

5) Can I have Medicare Advantage and Medigap?

No. It is not legal to have both Medicare Advantage and Medigap at the same time. You’ll want to make a decision when you’re first eligible for Medicare whether an MA plan or Medicare Supplement plan is right for you.

For any further questions call the number above.

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Reader Comments and Questions

By Di on June 04, 2017

My husband is 75. He dropped Medicare B at 65 because he liked the VA. Now that he is 75 and our VA hospital is a 3 hr drive away this is very hard on him. In January can he get his Medicare B back? Can he still keep getting his prescription through the VA if he does this?

Absolutely, he can enroll in Part B during the Medicare General Election period and still get his drugs filled at the VA! Just remember his Part B plan will not begin until July 2018. Hope this helps!
-Eric from

By rocky walton on September 28, 2016

I am a 100% disabled vet and I am almost 68 years old. I do not have part B on medicare due to the fact that I did not know that I was suppose to have it. Am I going to be imposed a fine for not signing up? I was under the impression that if I had medical coverage( with the VA) that I was within the rules of coverage. Do I have a problem?

Most likely, you will owe a late penalty for delaying Part B without having creditable coverage (VA coverage is not creditable coverage for Part B). Of course, you will want to confirm your specific situation with Medicare, as you might have a special circumstance not listed above. Best of luck!
-Michelle from

By Karl on May 08, 2015

What kind of prescription drugs does Original Medicare cover

Medicare Part B covers drugs given in doctor's office or hospital setting, such as injectables. Most prescription drug coverage will require Part D coverage.
-Eric from

PLEASE NOTE: We cannot comment on specific Medicare claims. Contact Medicare directly if you are trying to see if your issue is covered.

We will not publish your last name or email if you submit this form.

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