Is it time for you to enroll in Medicare? You may be wondering if there is anything you should know before you apply. There are a few things you should know before enrolling in Medicare. This article will help you to seamlessly know the benefits that Medicare offers. Keep reading to find out!
Know When You Qualify
When it comes to enrolling in Medicare, you should know when you qualify. There are a few different ways you can be eligible for Medicare. If you are 65 and over, under 65 with a disability, or have End-Stage Renal Disease, you are eligible. Once you become eligible for Medicare, you should enroll to avoid late penalties.
Those who are enrolling in Medicare when they first turn 65 will apply during their Initial Enrollment Period. This is a seven-month period that begins three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after you turn 65. Those under the age of 65 with a disability will receive Medicare after receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months.
Different rules may apply for those eligible due to ESRD; you can contact the Social Security office for more information.
Understand What Medicare Covers
Let’s break down Medicare coverage and the different parts. Medicare Part A covers your inpatient services; it is also known as your hospital insurance. Part A covers a semi-private room, regular meals, lab services, medications, home health care, skilled nursing, and hospice care.
Part B covers your outpatient services, also known as your medical insurance. Part B covers outpatient care, home health care, doctor visits, durable medical equipment, preventative care, and more.
Medicare Part D covers your prescription drugs and is considered optional coverage sold by private insurance companies. Part D covers retail prescription drugs that you get from a retail pharmacy. It allows you to purchase medications at a more affordable rate than you would without it.
Understand Coverage Options
Everyone has different healthcare needs. That’s why someone who has a different Medicare plan may not work the same for you. The Medicare plan that works for you depends on your healthcare needs and budget. Original Medicare is the base of Medicare. If you decide you need Medicare drug coverage, you can purchase a standalone Part D plan to help with prescriptions.
Many seniors purchase a Medigap plan to help supplement Medicare. Medigap plans help cover the “gaps” Medicare leaves beneficiaries, such as deductibles, copays, excess charges, and more. Medicare would be your primary insurance, and Medigap would pay as secondary.
There is also the option to purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan, which gives you Parts A, B, and D in one plan. Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage plans have premiums, deductibles, and coinsurances that you must pay. The amounts depend on the plans you have. Choosing the right coverage will help to ensure that you are only paying for what you need.
How Medicare Works with Other Health Insurance
Suppose you have other health insurance, such as an employer group plan. In that case, you may be wondering how Medicare will work with it. Medicare can be primary or secondary to your employer insurance. You can talk with your employer and Medicare to find out how your employer insurance will work with Medicare. If you have retiree insurance, you should enroll in Medicare Parts A and B to have doctor’s visits and medical carefully covered.
Get Screened for Programs That Can Help Pay for Medicare Costs
Did you know you can get screened for programs that can help pay for your Medicare costs? There are several different ways you can qualify for government programs. There is a federal program called Extra Help, which helps pay for some or even most costs of Part D. You can apply for this federal program through your local Medicaid or Social Security office. On top of that, you can get into contact with your State Health Insurance Assistance Program and be additionally screened for more programs in your state.
Starting with these Medicare tips will seamlessly get you to know the benefits better. Know when you qualify for Medicare and when it is your time to enroll when you become eligible. Understand what Medicare covers and determine which parts you need after seeing your coverage options. If you have employer insurance or retiree insurance, you can determine how Medicare will work alongside that. You can also get screened for programs that help pay for Medicare costs.