Medicare is health insurance for people over 65. However, you are eligible to enroll in Medicare three months before turning 65. (If you have a disability, you may qualify for Medicare sooner.) Take the time to understand the options available to you so you can choose the right one for you.
When you initially enroll in Medicare and at specific times of the year, you have the option of selecting the type of coverage you wish to receive. The two main options are Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B. Part A is basic health insurance that includes hospital care, skilled nursing care, and home health care. Any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare can be used anywhere in the United States. Medicare Part B is for preventative care and medically needed services. However, Original Medicare by itself may not cover all of your medical needs. As a supplement, you can enroll in a separate Medicare drug plan (Part D).
Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C) offers extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t – such as vision, hearing, and dental care. A Medicare Advantage plan is a private, Medicare-approved alternative to Original Medicare offered by a private company. Usually, these plans include Part A, Part B, and Part D.
You will most likely have to use a doctor in the plan’s network. Also, you will most likely pay less out-of-pocket than Original Medicare.
You may not have to register if you already receive social security benefits. However, if you have not yet enrolled in social security, you may not receive your benefits automatically.
Your First Enrollment Period
Since there are several parts to this public health insurance program, starting the process early can prevent gaps in your coverage. You also want adequate time to choose the right plan for you. Furthermore, you must make your decision within a set period of time.
You are eligible to sign up within one of these time frames:
- Three months prior to turning 65
- The month you turn 65
- Within 3 months after turning 65
Explore Your Medicare Options
We are here to help our members plan for retirement as simply as possible. We specialize in explaining medicare and reviewing suitable options. Contact us to answer questions and provide you with the information you need to make a decision.