Medicare makes healthcare accessible to millions of Americans. At the same time, this public health insurance plan does not work exactly like the private medical plans that most people enjoyed during their younger years.
What Everybody Needs to Know About Medicare Before Turning 65
In particular, people who approach their 65th birthday and Medicare eligibility should understand these essential Medicare features.
1. Understand the Importance of Medicare Enrollment Periods
Most people will enroll in Medicare during an Initial Enrollment Period. The IEP lasts for seven months, including three months before the month of the 65th birthday, the birthday month, and three months afterward.
Most people should make sure they enroll during the IEP for these reasons:
- Enrolling late may mean getting penalized with higher Part B premiums and Part D premiums.
- Also, people who want a Medicare supplement can enjoy guaranteed acceptance and an opportunity to pay the lowest premiums for their age during the IEP.
Occasionally, people still work and have qualified health and prescription insurance even after turning 65. If private benefits pay first, these people can delay Medicare enrollment. It’s essential to make sure that the job-related health insurance pays first after turning 65, but that’s often not the case. Contact the benefits manager to find out for sure.
2. Compare Medicare Supplements Vs. Medicare Advantage Vs. Original Medicare
A good understanding of various Medicare insurance plans will help ensure satisfaction with the choices.
Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A and B, and these two health insurance plans combine to offer broad coverage. Still, they don’t cover everything, and even covered medical services may incur deductibles, coinsurance, or copays. Also, Part A and B only cover prescriptions in specific circumstances, so Medicare recipients still need to enroll in Part D.
Like Original Medicare, Medicare supplements also don’t cover most prescriptions, so beneficiaries also need Medicare Part D. Also called Medigap, Medicare supplement plans help pay many out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles or copays. Supplements come from private insurance companies, but the government has standardized the benefits of various plan options. They have a premium but are almost universally accepted by U.S. medical providers and can significantly reduce or even eliminate most out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Like Medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans also come from private insurance companies, but they work very differently. They include Medicare Part A and B benefits, and most of them also come with Part D drug coverage. Most insurers offer managed care Medicare Advantage plans, like HMOs or PPOs. Since they rely on a plan network to reduce costs, Medicare Advantage plans may not provide the flexibility of Medicare supplements to choose any doctor. On the positive side, they usually charge very low premiums and do an excellent job of controlling costs.
3. Know Where to Seek Trusted Advice
Enrolling the best Medicare plan at the right time will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy excellent medical benefits at an affordable price. Still, most people struggle to understand Medicare on their own. Do you still have questions or want to explore available Medicare plans in your town or city? Contact the experienced Medicare agents at the Insurance Hub for a no-obligation consultation.