If you are turning 65 in 2021, then that means you will become eligible to enroll in Medicare. Before your enrollment period starts, it is important to adequately prepare for this major change in your healthcare options. One of the ways to prepare for Medicare is to arm yourself with enough information about health insurance coverage. Here’s how you can prepare for Medicare:
Learn about eligibility and enrollment
There are different eligibility requirements for Medicare. One of the common ways to qualify for Medicare is by age. Generally, people who are turning 65 are eligible to enroll in Medicare three months before their 65th birthday. Older individuals can also register in the program. To qualify, you must be a United States citizen or a permanent legal resident for at least five years. If you have a group health plan, you may be able to postpone your Medicare enrollment.
There are different enrollment periods for Medicare. The first is the Initial Enrollment Period. This is when you are first eligible for Medicare. The next is the General Enrollment Period. You can register during this period if you missed your Initial Enrollment Period. There is another enrollment period known as the Special Enrollment Period. Under special circumstances, you may be allowed to register during this period and not have to pay late enrollment penalties.
Read about what each part covers
Medicare is divided into various parts. You should read about each part to help you determine which is suitable for you based on your healthcare needs. Medicare Part A and Part B are known as Original Medicare. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital services such as hospice care, skilled nursing facility care, etc.
Part B covers outpatient services such as preventive tests, ambulance rides, durable medical equipment, and other outpatient services. Medicare Advantage plans cover the same services as Original Medicare and some services not covered under Original Medicare. Medicare Part D is a standalone prescription drug plan. Medicare Supplements help to cover the out-of-pocket costs leftover from Medicare Part A and B.
Before you enroll in Medicare, it is important to learn about the costs associated with each plan. This will enable you to plan ahead in selecting the plan that suits your budget and healthcare needs. Medicare does not cover all your healthcare expenses. There are some out-of-pocket expenses you are expected to cover, such as copayments, deductibles, coinsurance, and premiums. Some plans may also cost more than others. For example, some Part C plans have $0 premiums while some do not.
Contact a Medicare agent
Medicare agents are independent insurance brokers that can help you with choosing the best Medicare plan for your healthcare needs. Medicare agents have more information about Medicare plans and their features and can help to simplify the process of enrolling in Medicare and choosing the right plan. Consulting a Medicare agent is a good way to prepare for Medicare enrollment as it helps in eliminating the mistakes and issues you may encounter along the way.
If you wish to know more about your Medicare options in Oregon, reach out to us today! We’re here to help you make an informed decision on your healthcare coverage.