“With age comes wisdom” are words spoken from Oscar Wilde, “but sometimes age comes alone.” You have acquired knowledge over the years about life, but have you learned about Medicare?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 and older. There are many things to understand about Medicare, but there are five things to do before enrolling.
First and foremost, you should seek out a professional.
A professional will explain what Medicare is and what it entails. You may feel comfortable by looking on the internet to grasp an understanding of Medicare, but a professional will work with you to go in depth about the parts Medicare provides. Insightful information will be given and they will direct you towards the right path for your best interest.
Second, talk to your employer about Medicare. You may think that if you already have health coverage from an employer, then you do not need to worry about enrolling in Medicare right away.
You are first eligible for Medicare when you are at the age of 65, unless you qualify for earlier due to special health conditions. There may be a late enrollment penalty for Medicare, if you decide to delay your enrollment when you are first eligible.
Depending on what type of coverage your company supplies, you may not have to pay the late enrollment penalty. It is important to discuss this topic with your employer, so you can be prepared.
Third, make sure to review the different parts of Medicare. Medicare comes in four parts. Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Part A is hospital insurance, which includes hospice and inpatient hospital care. Part B is medical insurance, which covers certain doctor and medical services. Part C is known as Medicare Advantage (MA), which is administered by private insurers.
There is Part D, which is prescription drug coverage. You want to take the time to view each Medicare Part and seek a professional for more guidance before choosing the one that best suits you.
Fourth, take the time to review Medigap plans. Medigap is also called Supplemental Insurance.
Medigap plans are private health insurance plans that help pay for copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Medigap plans are important to discuss with a professional. Therefore, you can better understand the policies and discuss the various types of benefits.
Lastly, know the dates! Dates are an important factor for Medicare. On October 1st, information for the upcoming year is available where you can view and compare health plans. October 15th to December 7th is called “Open Enrollment”.
During this time, you are able to change your Medicare health coverage. January 1st is when your coverage will begin, especially if you switched your coverage plans during the Open Enrollment period.
Be sure to keep these dates handy! If you have read through this article, then you have a head start! Although you are wise, there is much to learn about Medicare.
Give yourself time to do research to prepare for the next steps towards your medical coverage starting today. Aging is inevitable and so is Medicare.