Medicare coverage typically starts when you turn 65. Achieving Medicare eligibility is a major milestone, and, for most, it raises a lot of questions.
If you’re turning 65 within the next few years, keep reading below to find out what you need to know about Medicare coverage options and enrollment. Contact our office today to learn about your Medicare coverage options.
Original Medicare is low-cost health insurance from the government and is made up of Parts A & B. It covers things like hospital stays and check-ups. Most people get it when they turn 65, but there are many things that it doesn’t cover.
A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Policy, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. I can help you select additional benefits to help you cover services and expenses Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
Medicare Initial Enrollment Period for 65+
You’re first eligible to enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after the month of your 65th birthday. For example, if your 65th birthday is on June 20, your IEP starts on March 1 and ends on September 30.
You’ll be automatically enrolled in Part B if you’re receiving Social Security benefits. Otherwise, you must enroll yourself. Most people opt for Part A (hospital coverage), Part B (medical coverage), and some form of prescription drug coverage (Part D) – through either a stand-alone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. If you decide not to enroll in Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay some late-enrollment fees.
Depending on your situation – such as if you still have or want to keep employer coverage – you may not need every part of Medicare available. But keep in mind this: If you are not eligible for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period, you need to get Parts A, B, and D when you’re first eligible to avoid financial penalties. Also, if you’re still working, it’s a good idea to check with your employer plan benefits administrator to see how Medicare might work with that coverage before making any final decisions.
Get Help From an Independent Insurance Agent
If you’re turning 65, now is the time to start thinking about Medicare coverage options and enrollment. Medicare processes and rules are complex-there are caveats, exceptions, and potential pitfalls. If you overlook something in the enrollment rules, you may pay a high price for both penalties and gaps in coverage. Contact me today to discuss your particular circumstances before you enroll or decide to delay enrollment.
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