If you’re set to turn 65 this year, you might already know that you will be reaching the age of Medicare eligibility. Here’s what you need to know right now…
Your signup window is seven months long. It begins three months before the month in which you turn 65, includes that entire month, and then extends for three months afterward. You can enroll in Medicare at any point during this seven-month window.
You can choose from many different plans. You won’t simply sign up for Medicare and then forget about it. You can enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) which are administered by the federal government. Or, you can opt for a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans are run by private insurance companies and must meet certain standards set forth by the Medicare program. Advantage plans roll Parts A and B into one policy that some feel is easier to understand and manage.
Medicare doesn’t cover everything you might need. Medicare does not include dental, vision, and hearing services, or prescription drugs. But because this type of medical care is important to your overall health, as well as costly, you might want to consider supplemental insurance plans to help you manage these costs. Medicare Part D plans were created to cover prescription drugs, and many Medicare Advantage plans include Part D. Some also include coverage for dental, vision, hearing, and other important services.
You might not be required to enroll. If you’re still covered by another healthcare plan, such as a group policy provided by an employer, you might not be required to enroll in Medicare just yet. However, you might wish to do so, to obtain more coverage.
You don’t want to be late. If you don’t enroll during your original enrollment window, Parts A, B, and D will impose a late enrollment premium later. This means your premiums are permanently higher than they would have been, if you had signed up on time. This late “penalty” does not apply to those who were not required to enroll.
As you can see, enrolling in Medicare involves some pretty complex rules. As your enrollment window approaches, call us to discuss your situation so that we can help guide you through these important decisions.