Five Things to Know Before You Sign Up For Medicare
By the Medi-Lady
Becoming a senior citizen is a momentous time in one’s life. You become eligible for several benefits such as reduced meals, housing and transportation costs. Once seniors turn 65 they also become eligible for Medicare. Medicare is a federally-funded health insurance program for people over the age of 65 and for people with certain disabilities.
However, there is a lot of information to learn about Medicare. Here are some important points that should clarify what the Medicare program entail:
- There are certain requirements you need to meet before you can qualify for Medicare. You must be 65 or older, or be qualified because you have a disability. You also must be an American citizen or a legal resident and you or your spouse must have paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 years.
- Once seniors turn 65 they become eligible for Medicare and are automatically enrolled in the program. There are two parts to Medicare, Part A and Part B. Part A covers hospital visits and is free. Part B covers more health care services such as doctors visits and outpatient care. There is a monthly payment for Medicare Part B.
- Medicare doesn’t cover everything. People enrolled in Medicare need to realize that some costs are not covered by their plan. Even if you are covered by Medicare, you may incur some costs when you go to see the doctor. To help cover the gaps in Medicare coverage, some people choose Medicare plans provided by private insurance companies. Some of the supplemental Medicare plans are Medicare C (Medicare Advantage plan), which provides additional services for prescription drugs, vision, dental and preventative services; Medicare Part D, that covers drug costs, and Medicare supplemental insurance, that pays for services not covered by Parts A and B such as deductibles and co pays.
- There are specific times to enroll in Medicare plans. If you still have health insurance through an employer you do not need to enroll in Medicare, until that plan runs out. There is a two-month window, where you can enroll in Medicare after your employer program has ceased. (This will be discussed in details in future articles.)
- Your Medicare plan is not permanent. If you decide that you have different health care needs or require different services, you can switch your plan at least once a year.
These are a few important points to know before you enroll in Medicare. Finding health care services can be a confusing time for seniors as they sift through the various plans and programs. The best thing seniors can do is educate themselves as much as they can about the process. Or if possible, ask one of their children or a caregiver to help them make the decision. For more information about Medicare programs please call 877-633-4523 or go to www.medilady.com