Are you turning 65 this year? This significant milestone means it’s time to start making some important decisions about Medicare. Here’s a rundown of how you can prepare to enroll in Medicare and what to expect next.
Read Up On Medicare Eligibility And Coverage
Individuals who have been paying into the Medicare system for at least 10 years (or have spouses who have paid) are among those automatically eligible for Medicare Part A when they turn 65; or technically, three months prior to turning 65 at the beginning of your Initial Enrollment Period. Medicare Part A helps cover most inpatient hospital, skilled nursing home, home health and hospice care.
Enroll in Medicare Part B
Unlike Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B (also known as medical insurance) requires enrollment. You can enroll in Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period, which starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after. Part B covers two key areas of healthcare: medically necessary services or supplies and preventive services like getting a flu-shot or having an x-ray.
Consider Medicare Advantage
Original Medicare consists of Parts A and B. Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, provides an alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans offer a wider range of services, often including vision, dental, hearing, and prescription drug coverage that Medicare A and B don’t always cover. If you do enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, instead of paying deductibles and 20% of your medical services, you will pay the Medicare Part C copays.
Not only do Medicare Advantage plans have extra benefits, they are typically very affordable, with premiums sometimes as low as $0/month.1 We can help you weigh out your options for coverage and answer any questions you might have about both Basic Medicare and Advantage plans. In just minutes, a licensed insurance agent can compare coverage from some of the most trusted carriers to help you find the right plan for both your needs and budget. There’s no obligation to enroll.
Don’t Forget Your Prescriptions
Medicare Part D plans help cover the cost of prescription medications, both generic and brand name. Participation in Medicare Part D is purely voluntary, but since Original Medicare doesn’t typically cover prescription drug costs, a Part D plan can help, giving you greater healthcare coverage and potentially saving you money.
Fill The Gaps with Medigap Insurance
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, also known as Medigap Insurance, can help cover gaps in coverage from Medicare Part A and B. If you have fairly frequent doctor or hospital visits, Medigap plans help cover the out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. The monthly premium cost can vary from plan to plan but the premium cost is offset by lower annual out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services.
Get the Benefits You Deserve
No matter what you pay for senior health insurance, it’s likely you’ll have some out-of-pocket costs. With Original Medicare only covering about 80% of your medical expenses, a Medicare Advantage plan, prescription drug plan or Medicare Supplement plans can give you a safeguard against overwhelming, or even unexpected, costs down the road.
The easiest way to understand your Medicare options is to work with SelectQuote. We specialize in helping consumers understand the ins and outs of Medicare and in minutes, we can compare all the Medicare options available to you in your area and make sure you’re getting all of the available benefits you deserve. The service is free and there’s no obligation to enroll.
1 This is not a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048 ), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
SelectQuote is a licensed and certified representative of a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS organization and a stand-alone prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal. SelectQuote complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.