For many Americans, Medicare is a vital component of their health care coverage when they retire. Where once there may have been employer coverage, something else is needed after retirement. Medicare is a health insurance program covered by the federal government for anyone 65 or older, those under 65 with specific disabilities, including after collecting social security disability income for 24 months, End-Stage Renal Disease, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
There is no one-size-fits-all Medicare coverage. Beneficiaries have several options for their health care coverage. Original Medicare encompasses both Part A (hospital visits, skilled nursing care, and more) and Part B (durable medical equipment, physical therapy, and more). Part D covers prescription drugs and Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, helps with the costs that Original Medicare does not cover. Another option for covering costs is Medicare Supplement.
How do you sign up?
If possible, you will want to sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period. This seven-month period includes the three months before turning 65, your birth month, and the three months after you turn 65. If you sign up before your 65th birthday, your coverage will begin on the first day of your birthday month.
While it is important not to miss your initial enrollment period to avoid late enrollment penalties, if you do miss it, you have options. There are special enrollment periods including when people retire after 65 as well as a general enrollment period from January 1 to March 31. If you sign up during general enrollment, coverage will begin July 1. During this time, you can also make changes to your Medicare coverage.
When signing up for Medicare, you have a few options. You can call the Social Security office, or you can visit your local Social Security office in person to fill out paperwork. Or save a trip and go online to SSA.gov. This online portal will walk you through the enrollment process. You will need to provide a combination of personal and medical history information as well as your coverage selection details.
Before signing up, review your healthcare needs and determine what potential medical costs will be. This is a good time to talk with an independent insurance broker like Vibrant USA. They will help you figure out any additional coverage you may need, including prescription drug coverage, as well as researching to see if your preferred doctors and hospitals will be part of your chosen plan.
Work With Experts
Medicare is a big milestone. It can also be overwhelming to navigate. At Vibrant USA, our Medicare Insurance Specialists understand that you may have questions during the process of research and enrollment. We can help you with all your Medicare needs, including reviewing your plan options and signing up for Medicare online or, if you prefer, work with you in person.
As an independent agency, we have access to more than 50 plans from more than 30 different carriers. This allows us to find the best plans for you, not what the insurance companies want you to buy. Contact us today for information on how we can help you select, purchase, and enroll in Medicare insurance plans.