Understanding Medicare EnrollmentThe Medicare insurance program is dedicated to Americans who are 65 and older or who are turning 65 within three months. If you don’t enroll once you turn 65 then you will have three more months to do so before you are penalized. While you won’t be forced to register for any Medicare insurance plans, doing it too late will mean high premiums for the rest of your life.
If you’re already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits at 65, you will automatically get signed up for Medicare Part A and B. However, you will have to enroll on your own if you’re not signed up for either program. You will have to do so during the enrollment period if you didn’t register on or before your 65th birthday.
Medicare Part AMedicare Part A is the most basic coverage option. It is also free to have in most cases. This means that you won’t be paying monthly premiums for it. To get free Part A coverage, you or your spouse will have had to have paid taxes for Medicare during your working years or be eligible for or receiving retirement benefits.
With Part A coverage, you will be taken care of if you need to receive inpatient hospital care. This part of Medicare insurance will also cover any short-term care at a skilled nursing facility or nursing home. Hospice is also covered, free of charge.
Medicare Part BMedicare Part B covers a variety of medical and preventative services and procedures. While this plan does require you to pay a monthly premium, you will be able to get preventative care for free. This includes:
· Yearly checkups
· Help with nutrition
· Flu shots
· Diabetes screenings
· Cancer screenings
Part B Medicare insurance also has your back if you need help with mental health, diagnostic services, medical supplies, and treatment for injuries and diseases.
Medicare Part CIf you’re interested in getting more comprehensive health coverage, Medicare Part C might be the right option for you. This plan, also referred to a Medicare Advantage (MA), bundles Parts A, B, and oftentimes D as well. With an Advantage plan, you will also have access to numerous other health benefits including hearing, dental and vision services.
Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan is similar to enrolling in private health insurance. You will have a choice of signing up for the following options:
· Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
· Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
· Medical Savings Account (MSA)
· Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS)
An MA plan might offer you the best Medicare insurance policy. This is because you will get the best of both worlds: Medicare and private insurance. MA plans are offered by private companies that have been approved by Medicare insurance.
Medicare Part DYour prescription medications are covered by Medicare Part D. However, this option is separate from Medicare Part A and B. This means that you will need to pay for drug coverage separately. Part D Medicare insurance costs include the following:
· Yearly deductibles
· Monthly premiums
· Late enrollment fees
· Coverage gap fees
Costs will also depend on the exact drug plan you choose and the prescriptions you need. Because most American seniors are in need of some kind of long-term medication treatment, this might be one of the most important Medicare insurance plans you purchase. Therefore, it’s important that you explore your options on how to reduce drug costs.
Medicare Supplemental InsuranceIf you’re finding it hard to pay for your health care services, you might benefit from additional insurance. In this case, you might want to explore Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap). These policies are sold by private health insurance and help you cover:
Additionally, Medicare gap insurance covers a few additional services that are not found in Medicare policies. For example, you will still be able to use your health insurance even if you travel to another country.
Before getting too excited about your reduced health care costs, you must be aware of Medigap premium costs. This fee is in addition to your Medicare Part B payment. So, you must consider this decision carefully. While you may be getting the peace of mind that more of your Medicare insurance costs will be covered, you will still be responsible for making additional premium payments.