You can’t get around health insurance. You need it at every stage of life, but especially as a senior. During this time, your medical needs can change greatly.
Take full advantage of Medicare as you approach age 65. Remember, you can always change your Medicare plan after age 65 too, during the open enrollment season.
Use these tips to learn all you can about Medicare and your options.
1.Know when to enroll
There are three times during the year when you can enroll.
- Initial enrollment happens the first time you sign up for Medicare. The period begins three months before your 65th birthday continues the month of your birthday, and goes on for the three months after your birthday. It’s important to sign up during this timeframe because you won’t be required to answer medical questions.
- General enrollment period. If you don’t sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment, or you want to change plans, you can do so during this general period, which occurs each year between October 15 and December 7.
- Special enrollment. If you meet special requirements you can enroll in Medicare at any time of the year.
2. Know your Medicare parts
Original Medicare has two parts: A and B.
- Part A covers services like inpatient hospital care, critical hospital care, skilled nursing facilities, home health care, and hospice care.
- Part B acts as medical insurance and covers preventive care, too. Basically, this part of the coverage kicks in before you are injured or sick and need medical care.
3. Ask if you need supplemental insurance
In general, your Medicare policy will cover about 80 percent of the cost incurred for healthcare services. So, if you rack up a $50,000 bill, Medicare will cover 80% of that, which is $40,000. So you’ll owe $10,000. And that comes out of your pocket.
Medicare doesn’t cover medications either. So that would be an out-of-pocket cost, too, unless you get prescription coverage.
These are some of the supplemental plans you should investigate:
- Medicare Advantage (or Part C). This is a combined Medicare Part A and B plan, with medication coverage Part C provided by a private insurance company.
- Medicare supplement (or Medigap). This plan covers about 20% of the costs for healthcare that Medicare doesn’t cover. You can choose from different levels of coverage.
- Medicare Prescription Drug (or Part D). This is a standalone drug coverage plan, and you can also choose from plans that offer varying coverage and costs.
4. Check with your doctor
Before you take the plunge and choose a Medicare plan, make sure your doctor accepts that type of plan, or be willing to change doctors.
5. Review your plan every year
Medicare plans may change from one year to the next, and your medical needs may change from month to month.
So it’s important that you review your plan every year to ensure your plan meets your needs.
Get expert advice when reviewing your plan or signing up for Medicare the first time around. There are lots to learn, and with an advisor by your side, you’ll get exactly what you need.
Call InsureOne Benefits for help today.